The below text gives an idea of what motivates this body of work that spans four decades. It is not intended as a “statement” but gives various points of entry to begin a dialogue.
The earliest images are from 1984 - from before my art school training. In 2010, I picked up this thread again because I realised that it was a way of perceiving the world that was meaningful to me.
This work keeps developing as more connections become apparent. My interest lies in the creation of a continuous narrative through landscape, that jumps through time and space, that allows digression and return. The scenes that interest me are of arrival, portals, paths, obstacles, steps, doorways, bridges, hiding places and departures. Different sequences of images can create a narrative following paths along coasts, down roads and through forests.
I am interested in Shan-Shui traditional paintings that depict landscapes where the elements take on a symbolic relevance in a visual story that describes a journey through life. Traditional hand-held painted scrolls of journeys through landscapes are a format that resonates with my way of working. The place and date of the image is only important as it is the spatial and temporal location during my time. The chronology is not important, but I like discovering connectors between images that were taken decades apart.
There is always an autobiographical element in every choice, from choosing the scene to cropping, editing and processing. However, there is no autobiographical intention. I am interested in the lyrical aspects fo scenes and how they can interact together to make journeys.
Car path. Reidsville, North Carolina, United States. 1985
Mooring. Cornwall, United Kingdom. 2015
Cave. Cornwall, United Kingdom. 2015
Trap. Venice, Italy. 2016
Bridge. Gudvange, Norway. 2017
Clearing. Flotterstone, Scotland. 2018
Steps. Fort Worth, Texas, United States. 2017
Steps. Venice, Italy. 2018
Simon Dent (b. 1965, United Kingdom) is a photographer and his work spans four decades from 1982 and is ongoing.
Simon studied BA Fine Art at Newcastle Polytechnic from 1984 to 1987 and MA Fine Art from 1989 to 1991 after which he moved to Valencia, Spain, returning to London in 2013. His work has been exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery, London, Impressions Gallery, York, and in many group shows including Towards a Bigger Picture at the Victoria & Albert Museum and Tate Liverpool.
Dent’s work has been published in several contemporary photography magazines including Creative Camera (1988), Aperture (1988), Camera Austria (1991), Uncertain States (2019) and Landscape Stories (2020).
His photographs are in various collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum as well as many private collections across Europe.