“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
Something like a Nest explores the space between the countryside as an idea and the messier, more complex experience we find there.
The countryside is often depicted as self-contained world. As an escape from modernity with clearly defined connections between people, place, food, and custom. Or, more rarely, through the equally sealed alienation of intensive farming. But what is there is always more fluid, mysterious, and entangled than this.
As we look closer, we see the modern and the traditional, the natural and the synthetic, the local and the distant, the idyllic and the unsettling, are enmeshed within each other. These categories are not interchangeable, but the boundaries between them are permeable. There is no clean escape, no meaningful way of separating one from the other.
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Hardcover with printed acetate dust jacket
54 colour plates
28cm x 22.9cm
“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
“Portraits of the act of observation.” British Journal of Photography
“a quiet, sophisticated book . . . With its multi-layered approach, it’s neither predictable nor didactic”
"A series of intensely concentrated impressions that reward and indeed encourage a slow, measured drinking-in."
“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.”
“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. ”
photography| writing| landscape
“He doesn’t want to shatter our illusions, merely quieten them – to allow us to see the complexity of what’s before us.”