Simon Roberts travelled throughout England in a motorhome between August 2007 and September 2008 to produce a series of large-format colour photographs of the English at leisure. Roberts’ national survey was informed by the photography of his predecessors Tony Ray Jones, John Davies and Martin Parr, and by the romantic tradition of English landscape painting. We English builds on his first major body of work, Motherland (2007), with the same themes of identity, memory and belonging resonating throughout. Photographing ordinary people engaged in a variety of pastimes, Roberts finds beauty in the mundane; the result is an elegiac exploration of identity, attachment to home and land, and the relationship between people and place.
Roberts’ work is significant because he combines a respect for his subject and the desire to communicate important social, economic and political issues...... His approach is one of creating wide-ranging surveys of our time, which he does through eloquent and arresting photographs; images which exhibit a disciplined compositional restraint, richness of palette, and which each function as an individual narrative.
Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs, National Media Museum
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication We English, published by Chris Boot Ltd 2009. The book has just been selected as one of Martin Parr’s ‘Best Books of the Decade’ in association with the PhotoIreland Festival 2011.
Simon Roberts was born in 1974 in South Croydon, London, and studied a BA (Hons) Degree in Human Geography at the University of Sheffield (1996). His photographs have been exhibited widely with recent solo shows at the National Media Museum, UK, EX3 Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, Italy, and Shanghai’s Museum of Contemporary Art, China. They are represented in major public and private collections, including the Deutsche Börse Art Collection, George Eastman House and Wilson Centre for Photography. In recognition for his work, Roberts has received several awards including the Vic Odden Award from the Royal Photographic Society (2007) - offered for a notable achievement in the art of photography by a British photographer, a National Media Museum Bursary Award (2007), a grant from the John Kobal Foundation (2008) and was most recently commissioned as the official Election Artist by the House of Commons Works of Art Committee (2010) to produce a record of the UK General Election. He has published two monographs, Motherland (Chris Boot, 2007) and We English (Chris Boot, 2009).
With thanks to the National Media Museum for loaning the exhibition.
For further information and images please contact Ceri Stock on 020 7920 7777 or email email@example.com