on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

From Red River to the River Winter – A look at projects in contemporary landscape photography

Recording from the 2014 Meeting of Minds Conference

Jem Southam is critically regarded as one of the most important British photographers of the last twenty five years. Working with a 10x8 view camera and colour negative film, his patient pursuit of his art seems at odds with the frenetic pace of life in the 21st Century. He predominantly works in the South West of England, often returning to the same location time and time again to record subtle variations in the landscape, how it changes during the seasons and exploring the balance between nature and man’s intervention upon it.

His photographs combine patient observation of the land with personal, cultural and literary references. Appreciating his work requires patience of the viewer, but this patience is hugely rewarded as layer upon layer of thought is revealed in his often complex photographs.

His work is included in many important collections including Rijksmuseum, Museum Folkwang, and the Yale Centre for British Art. He has been the subject of numerous solo shows including Tate St. Ives in 2004 and The Victoria & Albert Museum in 2006. He has exhibited widely in Europe, the US and the United Kingdom.

He is represented by the Robert Mann Gallery, New York and James Hyman Gallery, London. He is currently Professor of Photography at the University of Plymouth.

From Red River to  the River Winter - A look at projects in contemporary landscape photography

Jem Southam has been photographing the natural landscape for many years and has developed his ideas around certain themes. His early works were of the urban landscape, "Bristol City Docks" and "Paintings of West Cornwall" but with The Red River Jem took 50 photographs whilst following the length of a Cornish stream all of the way to the sea.

Since then he has worked on various landscape based long term projects up to his most recent completed work "The River Winter", a document of the river Exe from late autumn to early spring. Jem talked about how he works in project form and using examples from these projects to illustrate his ideas.

Green Room Interview

Following the talk, David ward spoke to Jem in our Green Room.

If you would like to come to our conference in 2016 here are some details

On Landscape Meeting of Minds Conference 2016

Making photographs of the landscape is often, necessarily, a solitary pursuit. But that doesn’t mean we want to be hermits. What we want is the company of like-minded people. We want a place to view the photographs of others and, perhaps, somewhere to show our own work. We also want a place to find new ideas – both aesthetic and technical.

On Landscape provides the ‘virtual’ place where all of those things can happen, a place where the disparate community of landscape photographers can meet and exchange ideas. It’s the perfect environment in which to share our passion. But wonderful as the online magazine is you can’t beat meeting people face-to-face.

You can read more about Jem Southam:

Mike Chisholm writes about Below South Crofty

Interview with Jem Southam

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