Jem Southam is a landscape photographer and storyteller. Since the early 1980s, his picture series have ploughed deep furrows through the historic, social and cultural narratives of his chosen sites. Often made in one place over many years, they build into metaphorical and allegorical works, whose structure, whose monumental architecture, is determined not only by the complex circumstances of place, but also by the history of their own making.
Southam’s storytelling unfolds as well through his own writing. Or it is extended through the texts of other writers from a wide range of disciplines with whom he often works. It is through these fruitful collaborations, and through the exacting concentration of his picture making, that Southam’s books and exhibitions attempt to explore, in the most direct and most profound sense, our evolving relationship to the natural world.
Jem is a Professor of Photography at Plymouth University. He is a member of two research groups – Land/Water and the Visual Arts. He runs the MA Photography and the Land, MA Photography and the Book, MA Photography and Writing courses.