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Pallant House Gallery commissions photographer Simon Roberts to create landscape studies
Simon Roberts, Inscape #2, Lavington Common, 2019.

CHICHESTER.- Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, has commissioned artist-photographer Simon Roberts to create a new series of landscape studies, inspired by modern British painter Ivon Hitchens. Accompanying the largest exhibition on Hitchens in 30 years, Roberts’ series ‘Inscapes’ acts as a photographic meditation on what it means to capture the essence of a place.

Through a series of photographic, video- and sound-based landscape studies, Roberts explores how we experience landscapes that are familiar to us, travelling on foot through those locations where Hitchens loved to paint. Following his re-treat to Sussex at the outset of the Second World War Hitchens painted repeatedly at his home near Petworth, and in surrounding locations in the South Downs – Heyshott, Duncton, Didling, Woolbeding and Iping Common, in particular.

“For this new series of photographs I was interested in immersing myself in the particular landscapes around West Sussex where much of Ivon Hitchens’ abstraction was rooted – a region of scrubby hedgerows and thickets, open fields, low-land heath and chalk escarpments. I wanted to move beyond just looking at the fabric of the landscape, and explore ideas of the ‘modest beauty’ of these hinterland spaces.” --Simon Roberts

Roberts is renowned for his large-format photo-graphic works that capture the nature of public, communal experience within specific spaces - this series is one of his first to capture landscapes that are absent of people. Even so, through the series Roberts brings into question people’s connections to their localities, and intends to encourage a process of slow looking and observation of the landscapes, urban or rural, that they find on their doorsteps.

The exhibition’s title, ‘Inscapes’, is a word coined by the Victorian poet Gerald Manley Hopkins, and is meant to describe the ‘outward reflection of the inner nature of a thing’. The commission forms part of a summer season of exhibitions celebrating the landscapes of West Sussex’s South Downs.

‘Simon Roberts: Inscapes’ runs from 29 June – 13 October 2019. It is free to view in the Garden Gallery at Pallant House Gallery, whilst the soundscapes will be found within the ‘Ivon Hitch-ens: Space through Colour’ exhibition.

Simon Roberts (b.1974) is a British artist-photographer whose work deals with our relationship to landscape and notions of identity and belonging. He has published and exhibited widely and his photographs reside in major public and private collections, including the George Eastman House, Deutsche Börse Art Collection and V&A Collection. In 2010 he was commissioned as the official British Election Artist by the House of Commons Works of Art Committee to produce a record of the General Election on behalf of the UK Parliamentary Art Collection; and in 2013 was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photo-graphic Society.

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