Landscapes of Innocence and Experience by Simon Roberts

Issue 26

During my extended journey across England for the making of We English, the bank Northern Rock collapsed and the credit crunch unfolded, events that heralded the beginning in a shift in public consciousness about the impending financial crisis. Twenty months later whilst making work for The Election Project, I returned to many of the places I had visited and this time, the landscapes were alive not with people at leisure, but with canvassing candidates, political slogans, and echoing with warnings of cutbacks and imminent hardship. Landscapes of Innocence and Experience explores the changes that have affected Britain economically and politically over the last three years. This series of landscape photographs, taken between 2007 and 2011, mine the country’s overlooked moments and are shot through with unmistakable fissures and visual oddities that hint at the economic unravelling, along with elements of the public reaction and anger of what’s to come. In contrast to We English and The Election Project, this series explore more esoteric themes such as the collective psychological effect of this new era of austerity.

Simon Roberts is a Brighton, England, based artist.
To see more of Simon's work, please visit his website

  Ryde beach, Isle of Wight, May 2008 

Ryde beach, Isle of Wight, May 2008 

  Trading floor, London, April 2008 

Trading floor, London, April 2008 

  Office workers, Middlesbrough, August 2008 

Office workers, Middlesbrough, August 2008 

  Bank Boardroom, London, April 2008 

Bank Boardroom, London, April 2008 

  Shoppers, Birmingham Bull Ring, March 2011

Shoppers, Birmingham Bull Ring, March 2011

  Repatriation of dead soldier, Wooton Bassett, April 2010 

Repatriation of dead soldier, Wooton Bassett, April 2010 

  Say No to AV, Barnsley, April 2011 

Say No to AV, Barnsley, April 2011 

  Bonfire, Oxted, January 2010 

Bonfire, Oxted, January 2010 

  ASDA campaign and Hindu temple, Birmingham, April 2011 

ASDA campaign and Hindu temple, Birmingham, April 2011 

  Postal workers strike, Witney, January 2011 

Postal workers strike, Witney, January 2011 

  Newspaper headline for student demonstration, Sheffield, December 2010 

Newspaper headline for student demonstration, Sheffield, December 2010 

  Leeds City Council budget meeting, Leeds, March 2011 

Leeds City Council budget meeting, Leeds, March 2011 

  Student protest, London, December 2010 

Student protest, London, December 2010 

  Former colliery, Horden, September 2008 

Former colliery, Horden, September 2008 

  Chinese pagoda at the 1984 Garden Festival site, Liverpool, Oct 2008 

Chinese pagoda at the 1984 Garden Festival site, Liverpool, Oct 2008 

  Quins fashion store, Birmingham, March 2011 

Quins fashion store, Birmingham, March 2011 

  Possessions of rough sleeper, Brighton, August 2010 

Possessions of rough sleeper, Brighton, August 2010 

  Shopping arcade, Margate, December 2010 

Shopping arcade, Margate, December 2010 

  Lynmouth Road Allotments, Bristol, June 2008 

Lynmouth Road Allotments, Bristol, June 2008 

  Pigeon lofts, Easington, September 2008 

Pigeon lofts, Easington, September 2008