Extending his exploration of the English social landscape, Simon Roberts has worked on a major commission for The Social: encountering photography. A series of large-scale colour photographs, made in various locations throughout Sunderland, are sited in different gallery and public contexts: in the foyer of Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, on the rear façade of Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, in The Bridges shopping centre as well as on the platform at Newcastle Central metro station. The photographs are echoingly familiar, yet also distanced. As in the traditions of large-scale history painting that inform them, we encounter highly socialized and deliberately lyrical environments. Yet these are thoroughly contemporary landscapes, where ordinary people get on with their various activities and pursuits. Some of these are solitary – taking the dog for a walk, or lost in reverie on a park bench. But most of all these are sociable and socialized environments, full of activity. To some viewers the locations will be immediately recognizable, while for many others the ways in which people use and inhabit the spaces – having a picnic, flying a kite, playing football or cycling – provide the more immediate points of connection. As in many of Simon’s projects, themes of memory and identity attach to the otherwise ordinary past-times and vistas. The relationships between people and places create a rich tapestry of social observation, while the high and often distant vantage points give a sense of the contemporary existence of each different landscape, as well as the accretions of historical use, social transformation and reinvention.
Exhibition Dates: 18 October – 16 November 2013
Exhibition Preview: 18 October 2013, 5-9pm
Artist Talk and Walk: 19 September 2013, 11am meet at Sunderland Museum Foyer. All welcome.
City Library and Arts Centre, Fawcett Street, Sunderland, SR1 1RE
Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens (External Installation), Burdon Road, Sunderland, SR1 1PP
The Bridges, Market Square, Sunderland, SR1 3DR
Newcastle Central Metro Station, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1.
In their new project Deleting Memory commissioned for The Social: encountering photography, Indonesian-based artists Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina set out to explore the relationship between the city and its […]