Jem Southam: Upton Pyne

Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007

One of the most significant photographers working in Britain today, Jem Southam creates photographic narratives of landscape transformed by time and man. Upton Pyne chronicled six years in the life of an unprepossessing pond near the photographer’s home in Exeter, Devon. From 1996 to 2001, Southam returned regularly to the site, recording the changing seasons and tenants’ attempts to make improvements to the landscape. The exhibition included twenty-one large-format photographs from the series. Shown in the context of the British traditions of landscape representation, in which the Center’s collections are so rich, Southam’s photographs asked us to re-examine notions of meaning and beauty in the landscape.

Southam, born in Bristol, England, in 1950, is Reader in Photography at the University of Plymouth. Collections of his photographs taken over the last thirty years include The Red River (1989), The Raft of Carrots (1992), and The Shape of Time (2000). In 2005 he published Landscape Stories, the first comprehensive collection of his work.

Jem Southam, Upton Pyne: January 1997 (detail), printed 2006, chromogenic dye coupler prints (diptych), Yale Center for British Art, Purchased with contributions from family and friends in memory of Evelyn Silver (1925–2006), Yale Center for British Art docent

Co-organized with the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Jem Southam: Upton Pyne was curated by Scott Wilcox, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Yale Center for British Art.


Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University:
October 28, 2006–January 14, 2007

Yale Center for British Art:
August 28–December 30, 2007

Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College:
March 19–June 8, 2008