We English

Simon Roberts

Simon Roberts was born on February 5, 1974 in South London.

Today, he is one of the most celebrated British photographers of his generation and of the Generation ’74 project. His photographic style reminds of looking at landscapes, cityscapes and human landscapes through a frame of the 17th century.

This lover of large format photography entered the big scene of image art when the international image community saw his titanic work “Motherland“ about Russia, for which he travelled from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka. His tranquil look was seeking to translate people’s connection to their land. As Simon once said, it is a size of project that he’d not be able to undertake once more in his life-time.

Often employing large-format photographs, he uses an approach of creating wide-ranging surveys of our time, which communicate on important social, economic and political issues. Many of Simon’s photographs are taken from an elevated point, allowing the relationship of people in the landscape to be clearly observed, echoing the visual language of history painting.

With the success of “Motherland” in full swing, photographer remembered he was English, and that his country had something to offer in terms of possible subjects. The Brits have a particular connection to their land and it translates into a variety of collective rituals, from Sunday walks to outdoor picnics.

Photographic series We English is a journey across England – in a motorhome. Its inhabitants and co-authors of the work were: his pregnant wife, a 2 year-old daughter and a large-format camera. The outcome was a set of landscapes observing groups of people congregating for a common purpose and shared experience. For photographer it was a return to his childhood memories. Motorhome… It played one more role, allowing a high point of view from its roof, very well fitting for paining-like landscapes.

Alongside the We English monograph, published by Chris Boot (2009), the exhibition toured to over thirty national and international venues.

In 2007, F Galerija in Kaunas featured an exhibition of his epic body of work “Motherland” about contemporary Russia. Simon had a ticket to fly to Kaunas, but on the day of planned departure, plans changed. In 2014, he had the second ticket to Kaunas for the “Generation ’74” exhibition, but unexpectedly received a commission to photograph a story in Bhutan. Third ticket never lies!