This exhibition is held in conjunction with an exhibition of Jem Southamís work, which will run concurrently at FOAM (Amsterdamís Photo Museum). Between 1994 and 2000, iconic British photographer Jem Southam began serial works through repeated visits to selected sites across the South and South West of England. He continues to develop this strategy and is making more extended versions of the work in his book Rockfalls, Rivermouths and Ponds.
As with all of Southamís work, each site has a direct relationship to a body or bodies of water. At each of them processes of change and transformation are continual and are the result of both natural and human causes. We see how the transience of time sculpts and morphs his subject. He explores his continued fascination with the descriptive and metaphoric potential of the medium of still colour photography.
In the Rivermouths series there is this amazing flood backwards and forwards of the two gigantic masses of water - the river and the sea - and you are left wondering where one becomes the other and contemplating how fascinating the subliminal messages are, as the surface of the water suggests to the mind.
These ďare frightening places where strong currents pull and tug but where one can become absorbed and metaphorically drawn in. They are perhaps also quite sexual places, anyway standing on the shore at these locations fills me with these thoughts and I think the pictures try to refer and suggest these things - and more - but in a very quiet way.Ē Jem Southam 2004.
While Southamís photographs display a structural economy and a sense of stillness each chosen sight is in a state of continual flux.
Jem Southam was not only short-listed for the Citibank Prize in 2001, but also his work has international recognition as he has exhibited widely, particularly in the UK and USA. †He has also published and his work is present in many key collections.
Recent commissions include, Atelier HSL, Holland in 2003 and The Tate St. Ives, Cornwall, England in 2004
Exhibition curated by Addie Vassie
River Hayle, 9 January 2000
36.5 x 46 inch chromogenic dye coupler print
Courtesy of Robert Mann Gallery