South Downs

Richard Billingham (1970 - )

Lightjet print


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© Richard Billingham

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  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    In 'South Downs', a road disappears around a bend to an unseen place. Illuminated by a wide vista of cloudy sky, the scene conveys the scents and sounds of the English countryside. Its studied calmness suggests that Richard Billingham captured a moment of stillness, using a medium-format camera to depict blades of grass in the foreground, and light falling across the distant slope. He reveals a sensitive perception of landscape, and an intention to make photographs that resemble paintings. His work is in the tradition of John Constable and JMW Turner, Romantic artists whose work he admires.

  • About the artist
    Richard Billingham was born in Birmingham and studied Fine Art at the University of Sunderland (1991–94). He is widely known for his series of frank and poignant photographs of his parents and brother taken from 1990, that culminated in the publication of the book Ray’s a Laugh and inclusion in the Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1996–97. Billingham was awarded the first Citibank Private Photograph Prize in 1997 and was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2001. He has exhibited his work widely across Europe and America and undertaken artists’ residencies in Pakistan, Ethiopia, Ireland, Greece and Italy. In 2016, Billingham embarked on a collaboration with Channel 4 on a TV drama based on the lives of his parents, Ray and Liz.
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  • Details
    South Downs
    Lightjet print
    height: 96.00 cm, width: 114.50 cm
    Purchased from Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London, May 2003
    Anthony Reynolds Gallery
    GAC number