Simon Roberts (b.1974) is a British photographer based in Brighton, UK. He originally studied a BA Hons Degree in Human Geography at the University of Sheffield (1996), a subject which has informed his subsequent photographic practice. After gaining a diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists (1997) and a period working as a magazine photographer, Roberts has spent the past decade dedicated to long-term self-generated projects. Often employing expansive landscape photographs, his approach is one of creating wide-ranging surveys of our time, which communicate on important social, economic and political issues.
Roberts has been exhibited widely with We English touring to over thirty national and international venues. He’s had solo shows at the National Media Museum, Bradford, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, and been included in numerous group exhibitions. Recent shows include Observers: British Photography and the British Scene (From the 1920s to Now) at Galeria de Arte SESI, Brazil, and Camera Work at Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome. His photographs reside in major public and private collections, including the George Eastman House, Deutsche Börse Art Collection and Wilson Centre for Photography.
In recognition for his work, Roberts has received several awards including the Vic Odden Award (2007) – offered for a notable achievement in the art of photography by a British photographer, along with bursaries from the National Media Museum (2007), John Kobal Foundation (2008) and grants from Arts Council England (2007, 2010, 2011). He was commissioned as the official Election Artist by the House of Commons Works of Art Committee to produce a record of the 2010 General Election on behalf of the UK Parliament. In 2012 he was granted access by the International Olympic Committee to photograph the London Olympics.
He has published two critically acclaimed monographs, Motherland (Chris Boot, 2007) and We English (Chris Boot, 2009). The latter was voted by Martin Parr as one of the best photography books of the past decade. More recently he has published The Election Project (2010) and This Is A Sign (2012).
Roberts is regularly invited to give artist talks and teach workshops in photography for national and international institutions, including a post as visiting lecturer on the European Master of Fine Art Photography course at the Istituto Europeo di Design, Madrid. He is a member of POC, a network of contemporary photographers.
One commentator has described his photographs as “subtle in their discovery and representation of forms of cultural character, which, upon closer inspection, reveal a richness of detail and meaning. They exhibit a disciplined compositional restraint, a richness of palette, and a wealth of narrative incident.”
Portrait: Simon Roberts by installation of Motherland contact sheets, EX3 Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea © Francesco Niccolai, 2010
Bottom photograph: Simon Roberts during the 2010 UK General Election with his 4 x 5″ plate camera, working from the roof of his motorhome. Rochdale © Daniel Lillie, 2010
For more information, interviews and downloads, please select from the menus below. A complete resume can be download here.
- The Photographers’ Gallery, Print Sales (London, UK): Pierdom, July – September
- Third Floor Gallery (Cardiff, UK): We English, July – August
- Swiss Cottage Gallery (London, UK): Let This Be a Sign, May – June
- Light House (Wolverhampton, UK): We English, January – March
- Pluie d’Images (Brittany, France): We English, January – February
- Centro Brasileiro Britânico (São Paulo, Brazil): We English, November – February
- Hereford Photography Festival (Hereford, UK): Landscapes of Innocence & Experience, November
- Flowers East (London, UK): We English, October – November
- Photaumnales Festival (Beauvais, France): We English, September – November
- SIFEST Photography Festival (Savignano, Italy): An Italian Story, September – October
- UH Galleries, St Albans Museum (St Albans, UK): We English, July – September
- Brighton Museum & Art Gallery (Brighton, UK): We English, May – August
- mac Gallery (Birmingham, UK): We English, May – July
- mac Gallery (Birmingham, UK): Landscapes of Innocence & Experience, May – July
- mac Gallery (Birmingham, UK): The Election Project, April – June
- New York Photo Festival (New York, USA): Landscapes of Innocence & Experience, May
- MC2 Gallery (Milan, Italy): We English, April – May
- Robert Morat Galerie (Hamburg, Germany): Motherland & We English, March – April
- DMB Project Space (London, UK): Polyarnye Nochi, January – March
- Spazio Labo’ – Centro di Fotografia (Bologna, Italy): We English, January – February
- Clocktower Gallery (Croydon, UK): We English, November – February
- Robert Morat Project Space (Berlin, Germany): We English, October – December
- EX3 Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea (Firenze, Italy), Motherland, Homeland, October – November
- Brighton Photo Fringe (Brighton, UK): The Election Project, October
- SIFEST Photography Festival (Savignano, Italy): We English, September – October
- House of Commons (London, UK): The Election Project, September – December
- National Media Museum (Bradford, UK): We English, March – September
- Burgh Hall, (Dunoon, UK): We English, April – July
- Bank Street Arts (Sheffield, UK): Motherland, May – June
- Bonington Gallery (Nottingham, UK): Motherland, Homeland, February – March
- Crane Kalman (Brighton, UK): Polyarnye Nochi, January – February
- South Hill Park Arts Centre (Bracknell, UK): We English, November – January
- The Photographers’ Gallery (London, UK): We English, September – November
- Klompching Gallery, (New York, US): We English, September – October
- Blank Gallery (Brighton, UK): Motherland, October
- Belfast Exposed (Belfast, N.Ireland): Motherland, January – March
- Klompching Gallery (New York, US): Motherland, October – December
- Lodz Foto Festiwal (Lodz, Poland): Motherland, May
- Photofusion (London, UK): Motherland, April – May
- Pushkin House (London, UK): Motherland, March
- The Photographers’ Gallery (London, UK): Motherland, February – April
- Sifest (Savignano, Italy): Sin_Tesis, September – October
- Flowers Gallery (London, UK): Uncommon Ground, July – September
- Dog Eared Gallery (London, UK): The Great British Public, June
- Aubin Gallery (London, UK): The English Way, May – June
- Australian Centre for Photography (New South Wales, Australia): Hijacked III, June – August
- Griffith University Art Gallery (Brisbane, Australia): Hijacked III, April – June
- Quad (Derby, UK): Hijacked III, March – May
- Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (Perth, Australia): Hijacked III: Contemporary Photography from Australia & UK, February – April
- National Library of Ireland (Dublin, Ireland): Martin Parr’s Best Books of the Decade, July
- Klompching Gallery (New York, US): Land, June – July
- Down Stairs Gallery (Madley, UK): Heartlands, May – July
- Coutts Bank (London, UK): Everyday Extraordinary, January – December
- Host Gallery (London, UK): Pieces of a song, December
- Carrousel du Louvre (Paris, France): Electric Vision: BMW Paris Photo Prize, November
- The Photo Gallery (Bristol, UK): Landscape, November
- Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington DC, USA): 100 Portraits / 100 Photographers, November
- George Eastman House (Rochester, USA): What We’re Collecting: Art/Not-Art, August – October
- 360 degrés (Quebec, Canada): Festival of Contemporary Landscape Photography, August – October
- Kaunas Photo Festival (Kaunas, Lithuania): Duets and Duels – Night of Photography, September
- Krakow Photomonth (Krakow, Poland): Aktualizacja UK, May
- House of Sweden, FotoWeek DC (Washington, USA): What Lies Beneath- Nature & Urban Landscape in EU Photography, November
- Paris Photo, Carrousel du Louvre (Paris, France): We English, November
- BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead, UK): Parrworld, October – December
- Noorderlicht Photo Festival (Groningen, Netherlands): War Machines, September – October
- 3 White Walls Gallery (Birmingham, UK): Photography is dead: 10 years of Rhubarb-Rhubarb, July
- Royal Academy (London, UK): Summer Exhibition, June – August
- C/O Berlin (Berlin, Germany): Visions of Our Time, Deutsche Börse Art Collection, May – July
- New York Photo Festival (New York, US): Home for Good, May
- Klompching Gallery (New York, US): Splash! April – June
- Shinjuku, (Tokyo, Japan): This Day of Change, April – May
- Format Festival (Derby, UK): Polyarnye Nochi, March – April
- Month of European Photography (Berlin, Germany): Blurring the Lines, November
- Vanderbilt University Law School (Nashville, Tennessee): Dialogues, October – December
- Pingyao International Photo Festival (Pingyao, China): Motherland, September
- Royal Academy (London, UK): Summer Exhibition, June – August
- Lumix Festival (Hannover, Germany): Motherland, June
- New York Photo Festival (New York, US): Portraiture, May
- Zeitgeist Art Gallery, (Nashville, Tennessee): Dialogues, May – June
- Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, US): This Land Is Your Land, February
- Museum of Contemporary Art (Shanghai, China): Unseen, January – March
- Association Of Photographers Gallery (London, UK): Polyarnye Nochi, August
- Les Rencontres D’Arles (Arles, France): Motherland – Evening Projection, June
- Photo London, Old Billingsgate (London, UK): Motherland, May
- Deutsche Börse Art Collection (Frankfurt, Germany): New Acquisitions, March – September
- Royal Photographic Society (London, UK): 150th International Print Exhibition, May – June
- Lianzhou International Photo Festival (Lianzhou, China): Motherland, December
- Lennox Contemporary Gallery, (Toronto,Canada): Flash Forward, November
- Paris Photo, Carrousel du Louvre (Paris, France): Motherland, November
- Kaunas Photo Days Festival (Kaunas, Lithuania): Motherland, September – October
- PHotoEspaña Festival (Madrid, Spain): Descubrimientos PHE, June – July
- BNL – BNP Paribas Group Award, MIA Art Fair, Finalist (Italy)
- Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, Nomination for We English monograph (UK)
- Creative Review Photography Annual (UK)
- IPA Awards, First Prize – Political (USA)
- Arts Council England Grant (UK)
- BMW Paris Photo Prize, Shortlisted (France)
- Commissioned as the official Election Artist, House of Commons Works of Art Committee (UK)
- PDN Photo Annual, Best Photography Book – We English (USA)
- World Press Photo Award, Daily Life Stories, Third Prize (Netherlands)
- Arts Council England Grant (UK)
- Royal Photographic Society Fellowship Distinction (UK)
- New York Photo Festival, Best Photography Book – We English (USA)
- KLM Paul Huff Award, Shortlisted (Amsterdam)
- ArtSlant Showcase Winner (USA)
- Creative Review Photography Annual (UK)
- Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, Nomination for Motherland exhibition (UK)
- John Kobal Foundation Grant (UK)
- PDN Photo Annual, Best Photography Book – Motherland (USA)
- American Photography 24 Annual (USA)
- National Media Museum Bursary (UK)
- Arts Council England Grant (UK)
- Vic Odden Award (UK)
- Les Rencontres d’Arles Contemporary Book Award, Motherland shortlisted (France)
- PHotoEspana Year’s Best Photography Books, Motherland shortlisted (Spain)
- Lodz Foto Festiwal Special Prize (Poland)
- AOP Document Award (UK)
- Lange–Paul Taylor Prize, Finalist (USA)
- Getty Grant (USA)
- Photography Now – One Hundred Portfolios (USA)
- Bright Spark Award, Magenta Foundation (Canada)
- Alexia Foundation Grant, Highly Commended (USA)
- AOP Open Award, Best In Show (UK)
- Photo District News PDN30 Emerging Artist (USA)
- Joop Swart Masterclass participant, World Press Foundation (Amsterdam)
- Ian Parry Award (UK)
Birmingham Central Library (UK)
Croydon Museum and Art Gallery (UK)
Deutsche Börse Art Collection (Germany)
George Eastman House (USA)
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (USA)
National Media Museum (UK)
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (USA)
Pallant House Gallery (UK)
Parliamentary Art Collection (UK)
Swiss Cottage Gallery / London Borough of Camden (UK)
Wilson Centre for Photography (UK)
This Is A Sign by Simon Roberts. Self published: London, 2012.
The Election Project by Simon Roberts, Essays by Greg Hobson, Sean O’Hagan & Peter Wilby. Self published: London, 2010.
We English by Simon Roberts. Essay by Stephen Daniels. Chris Boot: London, 2009.
Motherland by Simon Roberts. Essay by Rosamund Bartlett. Chris Boot: London, 2007.
Hijacked Vol 3 – Australia & UK. BigCityPress: Australia, 2012.
Flash Forward – 5th Anniversary. Magenta Foundation: Canada, 2009.
This Day of Change. Kodansha Limited: Japan, 2009.
XL Photography 3. Hatje Cantz: Germany, 2007.
Flash Forward. Magenta Foundation: Canada, 2007.
Granta 94: On the Road Again. Photoessay by Simon Roberts. Granta: London, 2006.
Eyes Wide Open. Chris Boot: London, 2004.
Joop Swart Masterclass 10 Years. World Press Foundation: Amsterdam, 2004.
The Observer, “The best photography of 2011,” December 11 2011, O’Hagan, Sean. (link)
Landscape Stories, “Personal Map of England,” December 2011, Arena, Gianpaolo. (link)
Francis Hodgson’s Posterous, “Simon Roberts – We English,” November 21 2011, Hodgson, Francis. (link)
Creative Review, “Photography Annual 2011 – Piers of the Realm,” November 2011.
The Observer, “Pick of London’s Photography Shows: We English at Flowers Gallery,” October 30 2011, O’Hagan, Sean.
Creative Review, “Exhibition Listing – We English at Flowers Gallery,” October 2011.
Elle Decoration, “Hot List: We English at Flowers Gallery,” November 2011.
Wayneford’s Posterous, “We English: Simon Roberts extensive survey of the English at leisure,” October 12 2011, Ford, Wayne. (link)
Pallant House Gallery Magazine, “New print acquisitions: We English,” Number 25 / October 2011.
Saturday Telegraph Magazine, “Where the brass bands play,” August 06 2011, Salter, Jessica.
Photo+, “Simon Roberts: Q&A,” July 2011, Park, Miso.
Saturday Telegraph Magazine, “Boardwalk empire: Britain’s pleasure piers,” June 09 2011, Bradbury, Dominic.
Photo International, “Simon Roberts: Russland – Mutterland,” Mai/Juni 3 2011, Hess, Hans-Eberhard.
FT Weekend Magazine, “Star Chambers,” April 30/May 1 2011.
Le Tigre, “We English,” Numero 004/ April 2011, Yogananthan, Vasantha.
BBC News Online, “We English” (Audio interview) April 23 2011. (link)
Origo, “We English,” March 2011, Pályi, Zsófia.
Independent on Sunday Review, “Welcome to the Arctic rush hour,” January 30 2011, Jacques, Adam.
It’s Nice That, “Things – Review of The Election Project,” January 22 2011, Quinn, Bryony.
FT Weekend Magazine, “Britain: what lies ahead?” January 7 2011, Russell, Alec.
Culture 24, “Landscape saves the world from wall fodder,” November 4 2010, Miller, Ben.
The New Yorker, “Monumental Portraits,” November 2 2010, Johnson, Whitney.
Cura Magazine, “Motherland/Homeland,” October 29 2010.
Archive, “Simon Roberts: The Election Project,” October 2010, Hobson, Greg. (link)
Total Politics, “Strike a pose,” October 2010, Issue 28, Duckworth, Ben.
British Journal of Photography, “The Nation votes,” Volume 157, Issue 7781/October 2010, Smyth, Diane.
Arte e Critica, “Motherland/Homeland,” October 2010.
Geo, “Les Pionniers Anglais De La Vie Sans Petrole,” Issue 380, October 2010, Tugel, Hanne.
Ag – Journal of Photographic Art & Practice, “Green and pleasant land,” Issue 58/Winter 2010, Badger, Gerry.
BBC News Online, “The Election Project,” (Audio interview), September 15 2010. (link)
Seven – The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, “A Snap Election,” September 12 2010, Farndale, Nigel.
FLIP Magazine, “Turning Point by Simon Roberts,” Issue 16 / Summer 2010.
The Photobook, “Simon Roberts – We English,” August 4 2010, Stockdale, Douglas. (link)
Bildredaktion NZZ, “Foto-Tableau: We English,” July 5 – 9 2010, Grieder, Katharina.
Photonet, “Britannia Post – The work of Simon Roberts,” Issue 134 / July 2010, Huh, Sookyoung.
Surface Magazine, “Surface Geographies,” July 2010, Vasudevan, Alex.
The British Journal of Photography, “Hello World: social media & photography,” July 2010, Smyth, Diane.
L’Insensé Photo, “British Photographers,” Issue No. 8, 2010, Nora, Elizabeth.
Grafik, “Exhibition Revew – We English,” Issue 186 / June 2010, William-Purcell, Kerry.
Photo Pro Magazine, “On the Election Trail”, June 2010, Hope, Terry.
Total Politics, “Election 2010-A Look Back The Public’s Campaign,” June 2010, Duckworth, Ben.
The Independent, “The Election Project – by the people, of the people,” May 7 2010, Duguid, Hannah.
Creative Review, “Simon Roberts, Election Artist, Wants YOU,” May 4 2010, Sinclair, Mike.
The Irish News, “Election Diary,” May 03 2010, Mcaffery, Steven.
The British Journal of Photography, “We the Electorate,” May 2010, Laurent, Olivier.
Professional Photographer, “On the Road: Simon Roberts Q+A,” May 2010, Weech, Kelly.
Royal Photographic Society Journal, “Simon Roberts’ Election Project,” May 2010, Land, David.
Time Out London, “The Election Project – Vote with art!” April 29 2010, Ward, Ossian.
The Guardian, “Simon Roberts puts political England in the frame,” April 12 2010, O’Hagan, Sean.
Geographical Magazine, “Simon Roberts – I’m a Geographer,” April 2010, Edward, Olivia.
Outdoor Photography Magazine, “5 must-see exhibitions,” April 2010, Tanner, Aline.
The Guardian, “Election artist focuses on bigger picture,” March 26 2010, Kennedy, Maev.
Surrey Mirror, “Photographer will put the Election in Focus,” March 25 2010, Evans, Owen.
BBC News Online, “Photographer Simon Roberts is official election artist,” 20 March 2010.
Yorkshire Post, “Exploring our Relationship with the English Landscape,” March 12 2010, Bond, Chris.
Saturday Telegraph Review, “Voyage in Search of England,” March 06 2010, Davies, Lucy.
Archive Magazine, “Envisioning the English Outdoors,” March 2010, Daniels, Stephen/ Kitchen, Ruth / Roberts, Simon.
Royal Photographic Society Journal, “This is the Elusive Fellowship,” March 2010, Hallett, Michael.
The Quarterly, “And Did Those Feet?” Spring 2010, Glasbey, Jo.
Coutts News, “We English – Photo Inspiration,” Spring 2010.
Albion Magazine, “Review of Simon Roberts’ We English,” Spring 2010, Betts, Alexander.
The British Journal of Photography, “World Class – Review of World Press Photo,” February 24 2010, Smyth, Diane.
The New York Times Lens Blog, “Showcase: Leisure as a National Mirror,” February 22 2010, Sussman, Nadia. (link)
The Art Book, “We English, Simon Roberts,” Volume 17/ Issue 1 – February 2010, Lane, Guy.
Source Magazine, “Away from the shopping centre,” Winter 2009/2010 – Issue 61, Fletcher, Jane.
Photo-Eye Magazine, “We English book review,” January 18 2010, Bradley, Sarah.
Ag –Journal of Photographic Art & Practice, “Green and pleasant land,” Winter 2010, Badger, Gerry.
Radio 2, “Claudia Winkleman Show,” Review of Polyarnye Nochi at Crane Kalman Gallery, January 15 2010, Steward, Sue.
The Telegraph, “Polyarnye Nochi – Simon Roberts’ photographs surprise with raw grandeur,” January 08 2010, Davies, Lucy.
Radio 2, “Claudia Winkleman Show,” Review of We English, January 08 2010, Steward, Sue.
The Telegraph, “Photographer Q&A with Simon Roberts,” January 07 2010, Davies, Lucy. (link)
Visura Magazine, “We English: Simon Roberts,” Issue 07/Spring 2010. (link)
an Magazine, “Season of Englishness,” December 2009/January 2010, Holley, Christine.
Photo-Eye Magazine, “The Best Books of 2009,” (We English selected), December 31 2009.
Lens Culture, “Visual Anthropology in Russia and England,” (Video interview) December 30 2009. (link)
The Guardian, “We English: year’s best photography books,” December 28 2009, O’Hagan, Sean.
The Sunday Telegraph, “Pictures of the Year: Photographers’ Choice,” December 27 2009, Parr, Martin.
The Arts Desk, “Photography 2009: Favourite Books,” December 23 2009, Steward, Sue.
The Wall Street Journal, “Lenses on the World,” December 12 2009, Woodward, Richard.
The Guardian, “Christmas Roundup: Photography Books,” December 12 2009, Hone, Prudence.
New Statesman, “Picture Book of The Week – We English,” December 07 2009, McClelland, Rebecca.
Digital Camera, “Documentary landscape photographer Simon Roberts,” December 2009, Harris, Geoff.
Professional Photographer, “We English at South Hill Park,” December 2009.
GUP Magazine, “A Growing Optimism,” 022: The Russia Issue/Winter 2009, Lempers, Shinta.
Fotograf, “Portfolio – Man and His Land,” Number 13, Volume 8/2009, Kubacakova, Marketa.
Royal Photographic Society Journal, “A place called home,” Volume 149/December 2009, Land, David.
The Drawbridge, “First Love,” Issue 15/ Winter 2009, Simpson, Millie.
The Online Photographer, “An Interview with Simon Roberts,” November 20 2009, McWhinnie, Ailsa. (link)
The British Journal of Photography, “Now the time returns again,” November 18 2009, Hamilton, Peter.
Newsweek Japan, “Picture Power – We English,” November 11 2009, Kataoka, Hideko.
Coast Magazine, “Beach Reads – We English,” Issue 44/November 2009, Gogerty, Clare.
Hotshoe International, “Hot Books – We English,” October/November 2009, Clifford, Katie.
Conscientious, “Review: We English by Simon Roberts,” October 30 2009, Colberg, Joerg.
Blue Filter, “Book Review: Simon Roberts – We English,” October 20 2009, Cockerham, Michael.
The New Yorker, “Goings on about town,” October 26 2009, Aletti, Vince.
Time Out London, “We English: Book Review – 4 Stars,” October 22 2009, Moss, Chris.
NRC Weekblad, “Een Laatste Toevluchtsoord,” October 10 2009, Steketee, Hans.
New York Magazine, “Editor’s Pick: We English at Klompching Gallery,” October 05 2009.
The Independent on Sunday, “Book Review: We English,” October 04 2009.
Flak Photo, “Weekend Series – We English,” October 03 2009, Adams, Andy.
BBC News Online – Viewfinder, “The English at Leisure,” October 01 2009, Coomes, Phil.
The Independent, “This is England,” October 01 2009, Duguid, Hannah.
Creative Review, “Landscape as Portrait,” The Photography Annual/October 2009.
1000 Words, “Book Review: We English,” Issue 06/ Fall 2009, Clark, Tim.
Montage, “Under Review: We English,” Issue 119/Autumn 2009, Korchien, Diana.
Ahorn Magazine, “Simon Roberts – We English,” Issue 4/Fall 2009.
Professional Photographer, “We English by Simon Roberts,” September 09 2009.
Photo District News, “Photo of the day,” September 25 2009, Ching, Darren.
Design Week, “We happy few,” September 17 2009, Stones, John.
Foto 8, “Simon Roberts on We English,” September 14 2009, Lane, Guy. (link)
ARTmostfierce, “The Most Happening Shows in NYC” September 12 2009, Natal-San Miguel, Ruben.
What’s the Jackanory?, “Mad dogs and Englishmen,” (Video interview), September 10 2009. (link)
Photo Radar, “We English documents the nation at leisure,” September 08 2009, Davies, Amy.
Eluxury, “Full English Snap-fest,” September 04 2009, Ledger, Stephen.
Lens Culture, “Photo Book Review – We English,” September 2009, Casper, Jim.
Go See, “From personal identity to the beauty of banality,” Issue 38/September 2009, Schmidz, Frank.
DU – Das Kulturmagazin, “Der schone Alltag,” Issue 799/September 2009.
Noorderlicht 16, “Human Conditions,” (Festival catalogue), September 2009, Melis, Wim.
Ag –Journal of Photographic Art & Practice, “The English at Play,” Issue 57/Autumn 2009, Dickie, Chris.
Guardian Weekend, “Homeland Security,” August 22 2009.
The New Yorker, “Enduring Beauty,” August 03 2009, Frazier, Ian. (link)
The New Yorker, “Travels in Siberia,” August 03 2009, Frazier, Ian.
New York Photo Festival, “Home for Good,” (Exhibition catalogue), May 2009, Levy, Jon.
Photo Pro Magazine, “A Fine Art Future,” May 2009, Hope, Terry.
Foto 8, “Work in Progress – We English,” Issue 25/Spring 2009, Houghton, Max.
Source, “Looking Obliquely at the Landscape,” Issue 57/Winter 2008, Shinkle, Eugenie.
Intelligent Life, “The Big Chill,” Vol 2/Winter 2008, Lennox, Alexandra.
Art on Paper, “This land is your land,” November/December 2008, Yood, James.
American Suburb X, “Simon Roberts: Motherland,” November 2008, Rickard, Doug. (link)
The British Journal of Photography, “The English at Leisure,” November 05 2008, Smyth, Diane.
Verve Photo, “Profile: Simon Roberts,” September 26 2008, Hiller, Geoffrey.
Art on Paper, “Pride and Belonging,” May/June 2008, Dykstra, Jean.
Nahtstellen, “Simon Roberts’ Motherland,” 2008, Klomp Ching, Debra.
Photo District News, “Photo Annual 2008 – Photo Books,” May 2008.
Foto 8, “England is Mine,” April 30 2009, Lane, Guy. (link)
Amateur Photographer, “Professionals Choice,” April 19 2008, Britton, Barney.
Art Review, “Special focus – Brooklyn Exhibition Reviews,” Issue 19/February 2008, Coburn, Tyler.
American Photo, “Land Surveys – enthralling photo books,” January/February 2008, Johnson, Miki.
Unseen – Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, Exhibition catalogue, January 2008, Ho, Joyce.
The Observer, “A book of Soviet bus stops?,” December 23 2007, Hobson, Will.
Conscientious, “My Photo Books of the Year,” December 19 2007, Colberg, Joerg.
Russian Foto&Video, “Book Review: Motherland,” Issue No.5/ Winter 2007, Neskoromi, Valdimir.
Aperture, “Excerpts: Motherland,” Winter 2007, Egan, Natasha.
Next Level, “The meaning of Motherland,” Winter 2007 Edition 11, Bartlett, Rosamund.
The New Yorker, “Galleries Brooklyn- Motherland,” November 19 2007.
I Odonna, “Anche Questa e Russia,” November 03 2007, Belgiojoso, Marghehrita.
Departures, ‘The wild wild east,” October 2007, Chivers, C.J.
Daylight Magazine,”Murmansk, Russia’s Nuclear Town,” Issue 6/2007.
Foam, “Review: Motherland,” Issue 12/Fall 2007.
Source, “A different idiom,” Issue 52/Autumn 2007, Duncan, John.
Foto 8, “Review: Motherland,” Vol. 6/Autumn 2007, Bigley, Lydia.
The Guardian, “Simon Roberts’ Best Shot,” August 30 2007, Benedictus, Leo.
The Moscow Times, “Off the beaten track,” August 10 2007, Kamenev, Marina.
Outside Magazine, “Photography – Seeing Red,” August 2007.
F2 Magazine, “The Profile: Simon Roberts,” August/September 2007, Land, David.
Photo District News, “In Print: Motherland,” August 2007, Lehan, Joanna.
The Drawbridge, “Freedom,” Issue 5/Summer 2007, Simpson, Millie.
AOP Image, “AOP Document Awards,” Summer 2007.
Photo Eye Booklist, “Survey of new books,” Summer 2007, Klomp Ching, Debra.
Very Very Magazine, “Rodina: Motherland,” Summer 2007, Morley, Matt.
London Independent Photography, “Review: Motherland,” Summer 2007, Nobel, Laura.
Style Journal, “The Motherland,” Summer 2007, Raphael, Amy.
Conscientious, “A conversation with Simon Roberts,” July 17 2007, Colberg, Joerg. (link)
Metro Life, “Trapped in a bizarre world,” July 12 2007, East, Ben.
Passport Magazine, “Review: Motherland,” July 2007, Mitchell, Ian.
Geographical, “Review: Motherland,” July 2007, Wright, Jonathan.
Financial Times Deutschland, “500 Frostige Blicke,” June 22 2007, Lockhart, Ina.
Outdoor Photography, “Book of the month,” June 2007, McWhinnie, Ailsa.
Lens Culture, “Motherland – An interview with Simon Roberts,” June 2007. (link)
Great Britain-Russia Society Journal, “Motherland: Rodina,” Spring 2007, Dewhirst, Martin.
Zing, “Simon Roberts’ Motherland,” May 2007, Jiao, Chen.
Arena, “Shot in Action – Motherland,” May 2007.
Voyager, “Postcards from the edge,” May 2007, Waing, Marcus.
The Art Newspaper, “Land of hope, but not much glory,” May 2007, Oliver, William.
Frankfurter Rundschau, “Mutterchen Russland,” May 05 2007, Danicke, Sandra.
The First Post, “The Big Picture – To Russia with love,” May 03 2007, Kyte, Holly.
Design Week, “On the brink,” April 19 2007, Zappaterra, Yolanda.
The Independent, “Mother Russia’s extended family,” April 17 2007, Zhuravlyova, Sonia.
The Independent, “Art Listings – Motherland,” April 13 2007, Chapman, Peter.
Time Out London, “Notes to self….” April 11 2007.
The Times, “Image of the week,” April 07 2007.
Wallpaper, “Northern exposure,” April 2007, Bell, Jonathan.
Ag – Journal of Photographic Art & Practice, “From Russia with Love,” Spring 2007, Dickie, Chris.
The Independent, “See the world in pictures,” March 31 2007, Calder, Simon.
The British Journal of Photography, “Mother Russia,” March 21 2007, Smyth, Diane.
The Observer, “Shorts – Motherland,” March 18 2007, Groskop, Viv.
RPS Journal, “Focus on Simon Roberts,” March 2007, James, Simon.
Russian London Courier, “Motherland Review,” Issue 271, March 01 2007, Uralskaya, Yana.
Vogue, “Vogue Loves….Motherland,” March 2007, Trow, Mike.
Hotshoe International, “From Russia with Love,” February/March 2007, Gavin, Miranda.
Saturday Telegraph Magazine, “New Horizons – Motherland,” February 24 2007, Groskop, Viv. (link)
The Telegraph, “Motherland gallery,” February 19 2007.
Airone, “Murmansk Soprawivere Sottozero,” January 2007, Bignami, Luigi.
The Independent Saturday Magazine, “Talent Issue – Rising stars of 2007,” December 30 2006, Hall, Nick.
Granta 94 – On the Road Again, “Across Eleven Time Zones,” Summer 2006.
“Roberts’ manner is calm. He shows people small in the landscape, clustered into groups rather than isolated as individuals. He likes to shoot from relatively high, so we see patterns. It is partly a show about ritual in the landscape, the strange things we do to feel we belong. It is partly about how the very numbers of us who come to enjoy the land spoil the thing we admire. A strong theme is about movement, but Roberts shrewdly notices how much movement is local. Playing golf still has something pastoral about it, even in the shadow of the very power station which employed you. These elegant pictures invite multiple readings, but they do it with confidence and zest. With flashes of wit, humanity, and abundant respect for his photographic predecessors, Simon Roberts has added a good one to the canon of surveys of the English.”
– Francis Hodgson, Critic, 2011
“Roberts’ work is significant because he combines a respect for his subject and the desire to communicate important social, economic and political issues, with a contemporary and highly talented approach to image making. His approach is one of creating wide-ranging surveys of our time, which he does through eloquent and arresting photographs.”
– Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs, National Media Museum, 2011
“We English, which looks at leisure locations around England from an aerial perspective, is the best new book on England for many years.”
– Martin Parr, Photographer, 2011
“Roberts travelled around England in a motorhome to produce his large-scale photographs of the English at rest and play. The results are epic vistas captured from a distance that are both timeless and contemporary.”
– Sean O’Hagan, The Observer, 2011
“The methodology the artist makes use of distinguishes his whole body of research. It consists of a lengthy period of observation with an eye to the relational aspects of the process of building up the image, meaning that rather than being the result of a single point of view, it is more the synthesis of individual stories and widespread sentiments that blend together and give life to a spatial representation, both intimate and rigorous.”
– Daria Filardo, Curator, 2010
“I think Roberts is more like a painter with an easel, with his large plate camera. He appears more akin to a much more traditional, long term, carefully composed form of representation.”
– Stephen Daniels, Professor of Cultural Geography, University of Nottingham, 2010
“We English is a complex body of work – photographically simple in one sense, but imagistically complicated, with many different inferences, not all of them immediately appearance, so one can be grateful for the book’s size, which enables one to see much of the detail in the pictures. Whether it can be considered as art or documentary, I don’t care – the so-called painterly aspects of the work interest me the least. What does interest me is that Simon Roberts has produce an intelligent and persuasive vision of our contemporary English mores – a Tony Ray-Jones for the 21st century.”
– Gerry Badger, Ag Magazine, 2010
“Quite simply, the images are beautiful, though perhaps not immediately revealing – their beauty can encourage the clumsy habit of overlooking what they contain. The best of these photographs are remarkable in the layers that Roberts’s has managed to capture – environment, group and individual. And truly the three inform and shape the others.”
– Sarah Bradley, Photo-Eye Magazine, 2010
“True to his word, Roberts’ pictures are unmistakably his own. Photographed in colour with a tripod-mounted 5 x 4 plate camera, they exhibit a disciplined compositional restraint, a richness of palette, and – often – a wealth of narrative incident…..His intent to mine the country’s overlooked moments – the trivial and the quotidian – is made good.”
– Guy Lane, The Art Book, 2010
“We English, the title of Roberts’s engrossing exhibition of large-scale color photographs might lead you to expect gently satiric social studies in the style of Martin Parr. But the focus of the work is primarily landscape, and several of the images are broad, handsome vistas with only a few people scattered about the terrain. Even the photographs that include larger groups were taken from a distance—a perspective that echoes classical painting, although the subjects are decidedly contemporary.”
– Vince Aletti, The New Yorker, 2009
“For Roberts, landscape is a site of leisure pursuits, and this viewpoint fits well with both contemporary social thought and the consumption-obsessed imagery of much current documentary. But he manages somehow to allow the sublime beauty of many of these settings through, and to make pictures of lasting quality.”
– Peter Hamilton, British Journal of Photography, 2009
“With a Simon Roberts it is a case of the more you look, the more you see. We English has tremendous historical and anthropological interest; it takes us on an amazing journey through ideas of belonging and memory, identity and place. It is one of the those rare books than you can and will come back to time and time again.”
– Tim Clark, 1000 Words Magazine, 2009
“Roberts’ photographs are indeed beautiful. The light is often luminous, the colour rich and intense…..The pictures are sumptuous.”
– Jane Fletcher, Source, 2009
“This empathic and captivating collection of photographs [Motherland], which combines intimate portraits and expansive landscapes, coalesces into a picture of post-Soviet Russia that is more complex and optimistic than clichéd portrayals of poverty in the wake of communism. Offering equal measures of beauty and disorder, pride and melancholy, the images speak to feelings of belonging and a common spirit amidst evident diversity.”
– Karen Irvine, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, 2008
“Motherland is a beautifully resolved body of work and the pervading air of melancholy, so suited the subject. The editing together of landscapes and figure studies work powerfully together – and Simon’s eye for the special detail that lifts a picture above a record to become a kind of poetry is evident in every image.”
– Martin Barnes, Curator, V&A, 2007
“Because the photographs in Motherland depict a nation that is alien to most of us, you could almost begin to convince yourself that the scenes are, in fact, elaborately constructed film sets. The landscapes have an air of suspension about them, rather like the split second before a film director calls ‘Action’, while the portraits – as formal and static in nature as they are – have a connection between both photographer and subject seen all too rarely these days. There are echoes of August Sander about these.”
– Ailsa McWhinnie, Outdoor Photography, 2007
“Simon Roberts wants to break down the stereotypes that own you…His journey through Russia is one of liberation, not exploitation…it is a journey to uncover truth and dignity, timelessness and respect…rather than magnify crime or inflate historical myth. It is a vision speaking of majesty, community and grace, not vice, guns and titillation. He would like to take the epic land that is ‘Russia’ and make it intimate…reel it in and soften it…let you see the beauty and hope, not the suffering and pain. Simon deals in optimism and humanity, not tragedy, corruption and misery…”
– Doug Rickard, American Suburb X, 2007
“In the new documentary mode objectivity is almost invariably melded with desire. The photographs of Britain’s Simon Roberts from his series Motherland are, paradoxically, both bleak and raw and yet almost distressingly pleasing to the eye.”
– Gary Michael Dault, Critic, 2007
Landscape Stories, “Personal Map of England,” December 2011 (link)
Two Way Lens, “Interviews with contemporary photographers: Simon Roberts,” April 2011 (link)
Troika Editions, “1000 Words Collection- Simon Roberts discusses We English” January 2011 (video)
BBC News Online, “We English” April 2011 (audio slideshow)
The Daily Politics Show, Interview with BBC2, September 2010 (video)
Brighton Photo Fringe, “Simon Roberts on The Election Project,” September 2010 (video)
BBC News Online “The Election Project”, September 2010 (audio slideshow)
National Media Museum, “Professor Stephen Daniels discusses We English,” February 2010 (video)
Lens Culture, “Visual Anthropology in Russia and England,” January 2010 (video)
The Online Photographer, “An Interview with Simon Roberts,” November 2009 (link)
Foto 8, “Simon Roberts on We English,” September 2009 (link)
The New Yorker, “Enduring Beauty,” August 03 2009 (audio slideshow)
The Guardian, “Simon Roberts’ Best Shot,” August 2007 (pdf)
Conscientious, “A conversation with Simon Roberts,” July 2007 (link)
Lens Culture, “Motherland by Simon Roberts,” June 2007 (audio slideshow)
Greg Hobson: “Simon Roberts’ work – The Election Project in context” from The Election Project newspaper (pdf)
Sean O’Hagan: “The Election Project Public Gallery – an anthropology of ourselves?” from The Election Project newspaper (pdf)
Peter Wilby: “How the election was won” from The Election Project newspaper (pdf)
Stephen Daniels: “The English Outdoors” from We English (pdf)
We English book commentary by Simon Roberts (pdf)
In Conversation with Stephen Daniels, Ruth Kitchin and Simon Roberts – from We English book (pdf)
Alexandra Lennox: “The influence and interplay of Simon Roberts’ Polyarnye Nochi and Russian cinema” (pdf)
Rosamund Bartlett: “The Meaning of Motherland” from Motherland book (pdf)
Simon has given lectures/artist talks and masterclasses at venues including:
Arts University College Bournemouth, UK
Belfast Exposed Gallery, UK
British Journal of Photography Vision, UK
Borderlines Film Festival, UK
Canterbury Christ Church University, UK
Coventry School of Art & Design, UK (podcast)
Croydon Museum & Art Gallery, UK
Fatamorgana School of Art Photography, Denmark
Format Photo Festival, UK
Host Gallery, UK (podcast)
Houses of Parliament, UK
Istituto Europeo di Design, Madrid, Spain (podcast)
Kingston University, UK
Leeds College of Art, UK
London College of Communication, UK
mac Gallery, UK
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA
National Media Museum, UK
Nottingham University, UK
Photofusion Gallery, UK
Redeye Network, UK
Royal Geographical Society, UK
Royal Photographic Society, UK
SI FEST Photography Festival, Italy
Sotheby’s Art Institute, UK
South Hill Park Arts Centre, UK
Swansea Metropolitan University, UK
Syracuse University, USA
The Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK
University College Falmouth, UK
University College for the Creative Arts, UK
University of Aberdeen, UK
University of Cambridge, UK
University of Plymouth, UK
University of Sussex, UK
University of the Arts, Bremen, Germany
University of Wales Newport, UK
University of Westminster, UK
Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK
Below are several documents and photographs that can be downloaded. When publishing any of the photographs, please credit the photographer named.
Simon working on The Election Project commission © Daniel Lillie, 2010 (jpg)
Simon working on his We English project © John Roberts, 2008 (jpg)
Simon in front of an installation of contact sheets from his Motherland series © Francesco Niccolai, 2010 (jpg)
Portrait of Simon © Charlie Crane, 2007 (jpg)