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Belfast Exposed Photography: Simon Roberts - Motherland - 18 Jan 2008 to 7 Mar 2008

Current Exhibition

18 Jan 2008 to 7 Mar 2008
Gallery open Tuesday to Saturday – 11am to 5pm
Opening: Thursday 17 January 2008, 7 – 9pm
Belfast Exposed Photography
The Exchange Place
23 Donegall Street
United Kingdom
p: 44 028 9023 1606

Lena River, Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, from Motherland (2007
Simon Roberts
Courtesy of Belfast Exposed Photography
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Artists in this exhibition: Simon Roberts

Simon Roberts - Motherland

Belfast Exposed is pleased to present Motherland by Simon Roberts. The exhibition consists of 26 photographic prints and is accompanied by a publication of the same name (including 150 images) published by Chris Boot.

The series was produced over the course of a year spent travelling across Russia. Roberts started in the Russian Far East, travelled through the Siberian provinces, up the Kola Peninsula and across Kaliningrad, before heading down to the Northern Caucasus, the Altai Mountains and along the Volga River. In the course of his travels he covered 75,000 kilometres and crossed 11 time zones.

‘I wanted to counter some of the photographic representations of Russia that focus on collapse and deterioration – with their emphasis on the consequences of Russia’s turbulent past as opposed to the possibilities of its future – without sidestepping the realities of Russian daily life.’ Simon Roberts

Since it’s publication in March 2007, Motherland has a received positive critical acclaim. Some responses were as follows:

‘Motherland is a beautifully resolved body of work and the pervading air of melancholy, so suited the subject. The editing together of landscape and figure studies work powerfully together – and Simon’s eye for the special detail that lifts a picture above a record to become a kind of poetry is evident in every image’ Martin Barnes, Curator of Photographs, Victoria and Albert Museum

‘A remarkable photo-essay by Simon Roberts which narrates a year-long journey across post-Soviet Russia’ Robert McCrum, The Observer

‘Motherland is a remarkably sensitive, optimistic and empathetic comment on Russian identity during a time of enormous change. Roberts’ work is significant because it returns to traditional documentary values, eschewing representations of Russia as a decaying country defined by alcoholism, drug abuse and violence.’ Greg Hobson, Curators of Photographs, National Media Museum

Artist’s biography
Simon Roberts (b.1974) grew up in Surrey and lives in Brighton, UK. His photography career
began in 1997 after gaining a BA Hons degree in Human Geography from The University of
Sheffield and a Distinction in Photojournalism from the National Union for the Training of
Journalists, Sheffield. Simon has carried out major works in Russia, Ukraine, America, Zimbabwe, Israel and Palestine which have published in national and international magazines including Granta, TIME, Sunday Times Magazine, Guardian Weekend Magazine, Observer, Details, Independent on Sunday Review, TANK, Der Spiegel and Le Monde 2.

He is represented by The Photographers’ Gallery in London and his work is held in a number of important private and corporate collections, including the Deutsche Bˆrse. His photographs have been exhibited widely with recent shows in Paris, Toronto, China and London. They have also been projected at PHotoEspaÒa festival in Madrid and Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan.
Among many awards, Simon has received the Sunday Times Magazine ‘Ian Parry Award’ (1998), was a student on the World Press Masterclass in Amsterdam (2003) and identified by Photo District News in New York as one of their ‘PDN30 Emerging Artists’ (2004). Most recently he won the ‘Bright Spark Award’ from the Magenta Foundation in Toronto (2006) and received the ‘Vic Odden Award’ (2007) from the Royal Photographic Society, offered “for a notable achievement in the art of photography by a British photographer aged 35 or under.”

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