Hardcover, essay by Stephen Daniels, design by FUEL.
Simon Roberts travelled across England in a motorhome between August 2007 and September 2008, for this portfolio of large-format tableaux photographs of the English at leisure. Roberts’ national survey was informed by the photography of his predecessors and by the romantic tradition of English landscape painting. Photographing ordinary people engaged in a variety of pastimes, Roberts finds beauty in the mundane; the result is an elegiac exploration of identity, attachment to home and land, and the relationship between people and place.
The work is set within the context of representations of English landscapes in art by the writer and cultural geographer, Professor Stephen Daniels. Following the critical success of Motherland (Chris Boot, 2007), this is Roberts’ second book, superbly designed by FUEL Design, and was recently included in Martin Parr’s 30 most influential photobooks of the last decade (more details here).
“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, Issue 58/Winter 2010
Publisher: Chris Boot
Size: 37 x 30 cm (approx.)