Four Winters by Jem Southam (Stanley / Barker)

Tears in the Fence

Four Wintersis a book of mornings and mourning, of dawns and dusks, a collection of reflective colour photographs on the River Exe initiated by photographer Jem Southam’s need for a time and place to grieve for his brother, and the recognition that in finding this space he had also found the subject for his next body of work.

Southam’s images have always been quiet and intense, requiring viewers to spend time looking, just as he does with his camera. InFour Rivers’often misty riverscapes we see light arriving or departing, swans and other birds awakening or settling down, the water bright or muddy, rippled, still or in flood. Sometimes dark and trees enclose us, at other times silver, pink or orange light illuminates a scene only just coming into being, hills, streams and vistas which are hardly there yet.

Soft tones of indescribable blues and greys contrast with…

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