Andy Sewell’s first book The Heath was a winner of the International Photobook Award 2012 and is included in Martin Parr’s The Photobook: A History Vol. III. His work is found in private and public collections including The V&A Museum, The Museum of London, Columbia University Art Collection, Eric Franck Collection, The Hyman Collection and the National Media Museum.
He was born in East London and grew up in the commuter belt north of the city, a place part rural and part suburban. He now lives in East London again. His work explores the permeable quality of the boundaries we put between things.
The Heath is about the paradox of a place managed to feel wild. Something Like a Nest explores the gap between the countryside as an idea, somewhere often imagined and depicted as an escape from modernity, and the messier, enmeshed landscape we find there. Known and Strange Things Pass looks at the cables carrying the Internet across the Atlantic and costal locations they link. Exploring, in these places where the digital network is concentrated, a literal and metaphorical entwining of worlds we think of as separate - the ocean and the Internet, the close and the distant, the physical and the virtual, what we think of as natural with the cultural and technological.
His work is defined by the relationships created between pictures. It is driven by a fascination with the contradictory quality of seeing – the feeling that as we look closer at things they become more lucid, more themselves, and yet, and at the same time, more entangled, unknowable, and mysterious.
Exhibitions and Awards
The Heath, London Stories Exhibition, Shoreditch Town Hall, London. October 2006
Winner Magenta Award 2007
Included in the book Flash Forward, “a review of emerging talents”, 2009
Selected by Martin Parr as “a photographer likely to make his mark on the future of photography” for an exhibition at Krakow Photo Month, 2010
The Heath, James Hyman Gallery, Paris Photo, 2011
The Heath named one of the best photobooks of 2011 in The Guardian and by Photobookstore and has two selections in the photoeye lists, 2011
Inclusion in and jury prize at Plat(t)form 2012 at Fotomuseam Winterthur, 2012
The Heath wins International Photobook Award 2012
The Heath exhibited at the International Photobook Festival at Le Bal, Paris, 2012
The Heath will be shown as part of the Noorderlicht Photofestival 2012
The Heath, Robert Morat Gallery, Hamburg, 2012
The Heath, Robert Morat Gallery, Unseen, Amsterdam, 2012
Something like a Nest, Le Centre d’Art GwinZegal , France, 2013
The Heath, Google, London, 2013
Participant at Photobook Bristol, 2013
The Heath, included in The Photobook: A History Volume III by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, 2014
Something like a Nest, James Hyman Gallery, London, 2014
Something like a Nest, James Hyman Gallery, Paris Photo, 2014
Something like a Nest named one of the best photobooks of 2014 in photoeye lists, 2014
Artist in residence at Columbia University’s Heyman Center, New York, 2016
Something like a Nest, Heyman Center, New York, 2016
Something like a Nest, Robert Morat Gallery, Photo London, 2016
Something like a Nest, Creating the Countryside, Compton Verney Gallery, 2017
Something like a Nest, ‘Here We Are’, Old Sessions House, London, 2017
Something like a Nest, A Green and Pleasant Land; British Landscape and the Imagination: 1970s to Now, Eastbourne, 2017.
Something like a Nest, ‘Here We Are’, Rue Béranger, Paris, 2018
Known and Strange Things Pass, Lianzhou Festival, China, 2018
Something like a Nest, Les Rencontres d'Arles, 2019
V&A Museum, Foam Amsterdam, National Media Museum, Museum of London, Columbia University Art Collection, Eric Franck Collection, Martin Parr Collection, Hyman Collection.
FT Weekend Magazine, Telegraph Magazine, New York Times Magazine, Sunday Times Magazine, Guardian Weekend, GQ, PORT, Esquire, Independent Magazine, Independent on Sunday Review, The Observer, Food Illustrated, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Phaidon, Laurence King, Bloomsbury.
The Heath, 2011
“a book of suggestion, a landscape of the imagination as well as a record of a real and familiar place. A classic of understated observation.” The Guardian
“At seventy-five and with the world the way that it is, I sometimes come close to losing heart, but when I see work like this I’m back in the game. The Heath is a beautiful job. Honest about mixed evidence… open to both joy and sorrow. Robert Adams
“a series of photographs that have uncovered the subtle beauty of the terrain, as well as his personal maturity in photographic approach. The photographer’s intelligent portrayal of his subject isn’t for the casual viewer, but rather for those who appreciate the challenge of consuming the complexities a powerful narrative.” photoeye Magazine
“For the last five years Andy Sewell has been tramping Hampstead Heath with his camera and has accumulated a stunning set of photographs… I urge you to support this emerging talent and order this book before it is acknowledged as a classic contribution to our photographic culture.” Martin Parr
“With a quiet, precise and sometimes playful eye Andy Sewell’s photographs negotiate this shared territory of the heath’s managed wilderness. While using his camera to frame the “still moments” a place like the heath can gift us, he never allows us to forget the human presence woven through the DNA of its existence.” Financial Times
Something like a Nest, 2014
“He doesn’t want to shatter our illusions, merely quieten them – to allow us to see the complexity of what’s before us.” Financial Times
“A sustained visual meditation on the contemporary English countryside – a place defined by often conflicting social and economic interests, and our reluctantly surrendered received notions of the pastoral and the sublime. Sewell makes us think more deeply about what the countryside means”
“such is the assurance of Sewell’s vision and strength of narrative quality that. . . our perception roams freely, gradually absorbing the rich suggestiveness of the people, places and environments. . . a clever, multi-layered look at our idea of rural life, done with understatement and visual acuity.”
“matured from a tradition focused on landscape towards photography as metaphor”.
American Suburb X
“a quiet, sophisticated book . . . With its multi-layered approach, it’s neither predictable nor didactic”
“a series of intensely concentrated impressions that rewards, indeed encourages, a slow, measured drinking-in.” British Journal of Photography
“The odd yet unmistakeable character of English country life is revealed in an evocative new series of photographs” The Telegraph
“a delicate portrayal of today’s English countryside. The artist explores how our idea of this land, and the pastoral symbolism related to it, intersects with contemporary culture. Sewell goes beyond the clichés in order to create a visual experience in which the noise of contemporary life melts into bucolic conventions and habits.” Fantom
“a poetic re-framing – both literal and metaphorical – of the English countryside. Employing a subtle and contemplative pictorial style. . . [an] unsentimental and complex vision of rural life. ”
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