Jem Southam (born 1950) is one of the most critically respected British landscape photographers working today. Celebrated for his important contribution to colour photography in Britain, Southam documents subtle changes in the landscape in relation to the passage of time.
Born in Bristol in 1950 Jem Southam studied at the London College of Printing. In the 1970s he began documenting the landscape of the South West of England, patiently and thoughtfully recording changes at a single location over periods of months or years.
Working exclusively in series, he has produced several bodies of work, including The Red River, The Raft of Carrots, The Shape of Time: Rockfalls, Rivermouths, Ponds, The River – Winter, The Painter’s Pool, Upton Pyne and The Moth (2018).
Southam has held solo exhibitions at The Photographers' Gallery, London, Tate St Ives, and The Victoria & Albert Museum, London. His work is held in the collections of the Rijksmuseum, Museum Folkwang, the Yale Centre for British Art and the The Victoria & Albert Museum. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Photography at the University of Plymouth.
Stories from the archive
Recently Jem Southam has been spending time beginning to organise his archive, locating original prints, putting them in archival sleeves, scanning negatives and so on. While doing this, he has rediscovered images with strong associated narratives. Click on the linked pages to see some of the stories from his archive.