Photographs by Simon Roberts. Introduction by Stephen Daniels.
Chris Boot, 2009. 112 pp., 86 color illustrations, 14x11½".
We English is the highly anticipated result of
London-born photographer Simon Roberts’
year-long journey around England.With his
wife and daughter, Roberts caravanned around
his country, documenting its landscapes, both
natural and social, with a large format 4 x 5
camera. “There is no such thing as a definitive
set of images that encapsulate Englishness,”
Roberts has said; “We English is about social
landscapes but it is not about social or political
analysis. It does not seek to define but simply
to represent.” Roberts, who was born in 1974, is
informed by the photography of predecessors
such as Tony Ray-Jones, John Davies and Martin
Parr, by the Romantic tradition of English landscape
painting, and—notably—by the paintings
of Pieter Brueghel and L.S. Lowry. Roberts
merges these influences with his own impulses,
depicting the English at leisure in bucolic
settings in a manner that is all his own, resulting
in a work that is beautiful, accessible and
heartwarming.We English is the most significant
contribution to the photography of
England since John Davies’ The British
Landscape (1979–2005). Following the critical
success of Motherland (2007), this is Roberts’
second book, superbly designed by the awardwinning
team at Fuel.
Read Sarah Bradley's review of We English on photo-eye Magazine.