The Election Project
In 2010 Simon Roberts was selected as the official British Election Artist, an appointment made by the UK Parliament Committee on Works of Art, to create an historic record of the 2010 General Election. Traversing the length and breadth of the country in a motorhome during the official 24 days of electioneering, Roberts aimed to capture as many political parties, in as wide a variety of constituencies as possible. In the spirit of We English he continued to use a tripod-mounted, large format plate camera, often shooting from the top of his vehicle. This allowed him a wide field of view, far removed from the up close and personal shots that are familiar from news media. As an antithetic yet complementary accompaniment to his work, Roberts also encouraged public participation in the project. He invited people to visually express their opinions on the campaign by uploading their own photographs to a special website created for the purpose (www.theelectionproject.co.uk). The 1,696 images submitted by members of the public formed part of the final work alongside Roberts’ twenty five framed photographs: one representing each day he spent on the campaign trail, and a final photograph capturing an unexpected additional day: – the coalition talks.
“Roberts’ Election photographs are like theatre sets, with myriad small dr