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26.08.2009

 

Simon Roberts : We English - from personal identity to the beauty of banality

Several of Simon Roberts’ shots of his country and her inhabitants, call to mind Massimo Vitali’s swarming beach images, yet Simon’s gatherings of people are different – somehow more English. The spaces come across as less tidy. Other motifs reminds us of Martin Parr’s soft touch, just more sublime and somehow more honest.  

“In between August 2007 and September 2008 Simon Roberts travelled throughout England in a motorhome, to collect a series of the English at leisure on his travels. By photographing ordinary people engaged in a variety of pastimes, he discovered beauty in the mundane. The result is an elegiac exploration of identity, attachment to home and land, and the relationship between people and place. This is the most significant contribution to the photography of England in recent years." Chris Boot, Publisher

Born in Croydon, South London, 1974, Simon grew up in London and spent the holidays visiting his grandparents on the South Coast. The images and memories of his childhood contributed to the making of We English, so too did his questioning of his own identity and what it means to be English.   

On returning from Russia in 2005, where he had spent a year travelling to produce the book Motherland (Chris Boot Ltd, 2007), he was ready to develop some of the same themes he had found in Russia. Motherland was an exploration of, amongst other things, the Russians' attachment to their homeland. This attachment to place was somewhat mysterious, simultaneously profound and mundane, and so it led the photographer to contemplate his own homeland attachment. Thus We English was born as a sequel to his Russian work, springing from a fascination with peoples' sense of belonging, identity and place.

We English published by Chris Boot, will be out in September 2009. Accompanying exhibitions will be held at the Klompching Gallery in New York and The Photographers' Gallery in London:

10 September - 24 October 09
Klompching Gallery New York
www.klompching.com

1 September - 18 October 2009
The Photographers’ Gallery, London. Print Room & Café.
http://photonet.org.uk


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WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts

WE ENGLISH by Simon Roberts