I am focusing in this write up on the elements of the show that I found useful for my landscape work:
Los Angeles, CA, February 4th, 1969. These are very small prints shot from a car window; 60 shots taken from a car window in one day, used in the order shot without editing. He intended tp communicate a feel of LA and shake up conventions used. I saw lots of his trademark dissecting lines, a variety of perspective and angles, though the images do nothing for me.
(Stephen Shore, 2019,1)
Conversely I was taken by his large prints, “Details” shot in London and New York where Shore transforms mundane everyday objects into subjects for thoughtful consideration. Images of wall reliefs, shop windows, trees shallow, rubbish most with unusual perspective.
(Stephen Shore, 2019, 1)
(Stephen Shore, 2019, 2)
Stephen Shore, Photographer – Work, Biography, CV (2019, 1) At: http://stephenshore.net/ (Accessed on 23 May 2019)
Stephen Shore | Artists | 303 Gallery (2019,2) At: https://www.303gallery.com/artists/stephen-shore/images/details?view=slider (Accessed on 23 May 2019)
JEM SOUTHAM IN CONVERSATION WITH SUSANNA BROWN 16.5.19 Photo London
It was a fantastic opportunity to see and hear Jem talk about his work and his approach to it.
He is currently photographing rock-falls again (about 80 different sites with 4 in each series), this is a project started 25 years ago with his large format camera 12ft tripod, ladder. His first rock fall picture was in 1994.
For his work The moth (2018)he revisited the mining districts of Cornwall he photographed in the red river almost 2 decades earlier documenting the legacy of tin mining on the river valley, this has been a long gestation project which began 1983 sometimes in black and white as cheaper, He decided he’d make a piece of work about what was inside his head – it took 30 yrs. The title came late, from the wanderer and the seafarer poems, about people that lost their families and bemoan their fate. Focused on what it’s like to be an exile -the moth is like the holes in the land below Cornwall, and also like the holes that dementia patients have in their brains. So these are the images in the persons mind, metaphorical through someone’s imagination. About mining culture and revisiting.
He uses some diptychs e.g. spring buds v old mining shed with a women’s undergarment metaphor of rising Sap and what went on in the shed.
“Restless”New Zealand March to April 2018, returned in November to finish.
He was asked to photograph there but thought that local photographers obviously knew much more than him of the culture and history, so took photos with a digital camera as if a tourist – a road tourist. Southam used portrait orientation for the first time.
He has only recently began to explore digital photography (as forced to because of a broken arm and being unable to carry his usual large format camera tripod and ladder), and still works one handed. He doesn’t miss the medium format camera, but likes film still.
His 2012 series The River – Winter traced a single winter, following the path of the river Exe.
This images The Wintery Heavens show the winter dawn light on a pool of swans, geese and ducks on the River Exe.
He enjoys walking and taking photographs as a witness to what he sees: “I take with me a camera and a single lens. The pictures are made to try to evoke the experience of standing on the land and witnessing what one sees”. He mainly shots at dusk and dawn and tries to come back with one picture each day (Jem Southam, 2019)
(Jem Southam (1), 2019)
I also saw this work in a gallery exhibition at the show and found it inspiring, The Long White Cloud (2018) shot on a six-week journey of the North and South Islands of New Zealand, where he focuses on the bodies of water there with their shifting seasons and weather:
(Jem Southam (2) 2019)
During his talk Jem shared that:
- He photographs without preconceptions, and this is why his work takes so long to build together. It is later that he looks for relationships. So it’s a physical and metaphorical journey.
- He is fascinated with sculptural spaces, e.g. where a cliff meets a beach.
- He photographs over time, for instance photographing a rock fall near Sidmouth about 20 times over a couple of years. He has been photographing rock-falls in Normandy since 2005, and usually leaves it about 6 months before returns.
- The passage of time is essential to his photography. Eg: Movement of wave (Fast), shadow of sun (hourly) tidal line (weekly) rock formation (huge time) It’s about thinking Philosophising
- Viewers bring own memories to the work, so the work is just introduced not explained
- All his landscape work has been defined by the industrial revolution
- His work is a sociological and physiological exploration of landscape and man’s intervention in it.
- He is an explorer
- He likes to make work fit to the gallery space. He prints his own pictures.
Exhibition: Jem Southam : Birds, Rocks, Rivers, Islands – Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives (s.d.) At: https://plymhearts.org/whats-on/jem-southam-exhibition/ (Accessed on 23 May 2019)
Jem Southam (1): Birds Rivers Rain : Kestle Barton (s.d.) At: http://www.kestlebarton.co.uk/arts-and-events/jem-southam-rocks-river-rain/ (Accessed on 23 May 2019)
Jem Southam (2)| Photographer’s Biography & Art Works | Huxley-Parlour Gallery (s.d.) At: https://huxleyparlour.com/artists/jem-southam/ (Accessed on 23 May 2019)
Other landscape work seen:
I was also able to see some Ansel Adams images first hand, in particular, Aspens 1958 (below) and Grass and pool 1935, which added to my understanding of the breadth of his work:.
(Ansel Adams, 2019) (shopanseladams, 2019)
I was fascinated with a photograph by Joel Sternfield A railroad artefact May 2000, in particular for its amazing clarity as well as taking me back to my work in part 3 on edge lands.
I was also able to see a Mark Ruwedal image first hand, Columbia and Westerm#24, I was taken by the extreme contrasts in the photograph.
(Mark Ruwedel, 2019)
I also came across the landscape work of British photographer Paul Hart in his book “Drained” (HART, 2018) and will research him further.
Ansel Adams, Aspen trees, Colorado, vintage, clouds, mountains, black & white, monochrome, fine art print poster – canvas also available (s.d.) At: https://www.etsy.com/hk-en/listing/614637363/ansel-adams-aspen-trees-colorado-vintage (Accessed on 26 May 2019)
Bunyan, D.M. (s.d.) A Railroad Artifact | Art Blart. At: https://artblart.com/tag/a-railroad-artifact/ (Accessed on 26 May 2019)
Grass and Pool by Ansel Adams (s.d.) At: https://shop.anseladams.com/Grass_and_Pool_p/1701072106.htm (Accessed on 26 May 2019)
Hart, P. (2018). Drained. [Stockport]: Dewi Lewis Publishing.
Mark Ruwedel | Columbia and Western #24 (2000-2019) | Available for Sale | Artsy (s.d.) At: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/mark-ruwedel-columbia-and-western-number-24 (Accessed on 26 May 2019).