Turning the pages of the river WINTER is like the rhythm of footfall on a solitary, meditative, hibernal walk. Jem Southam, the renowned British landscape photographer, arranges forty images in date order which, as the caption explains, “follow the passage of a single winter 2010-2011 along stretches of the Exe river and its tributaries in Devon, England”.

All the photographs are of water and sky, earth and trees. 

The palette is blues and greys, browns and greens, and when ice and snow cover the ground, the colours become half tints and tones. There are no people and no wildlife in these images a trace of wire fencing and a mooring pole the only indication of the presence of man. A date is attributed to each image, yet the feeling of the timeless attaches – the sense that this landscape could have been seen, unchanged, two hundred years before. 

Southam’s aesthetic is unadorned and

This article appeared in 182 on February 2013. Buy here

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