Birling Gap, Limestone with Flints
About the work
Birling Gap, to the west of Beachy Head on the south coast of England, forms part of the longest natural exposure of chalk cliffs in Europe. This photograph is paired with another by Jem Southam, taken from a different angle. In both photographs, the stark monumentality of the cliff face contrasts with a sense of movement created by the rocks that have tumbled down to the shoreline. Southam portrays the scene from a low angle, placing us among the rocks strewn along the beach, and allowing the cliffs to tower above us.
About the artist
Jem Southam was born in Bristol in 1950. He is one of Britain’s leading photographic artists and was shortlisted for the prestigious Citibank Photography Prize in 2001. He studied at the London College of Printing, and then worked at Bristol’s Arnolfini Gallery from 1976 to 1982. He taught at Falmouth School of Art and is emeritus Professor in the School of Art and Media at Plymouth University, where he taught photography for many years. His work focuses on the landscape of the south and south west of Britain and has been widely exhibited, both in this country and abroad. Major exhibitions include 'Jem Southam: Path to a Picture' at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2006; and 'Jem Southam: From A Distance: An Industrial Landscape in Cornwall' at Tate St Ives in 2004. He lives and works in Devon.
Jem Southam (1950 - )
- Birling Gap, Limestone with Flints
- 12/13 May 2000
- C-type photograph
- height: 89.50 cm, width: 116.20 cm
- Purchased from the Photographers' Gallery, March 2001
- lr: Jem Southam, Birling Gap, 3/6, 2000
- GAC number