Jem Southam: The Painter's Pool
Stoke Woods, in the south west of England, are truly ancient woodlands, with records showing them gifted by King Athelston to the Church in Exeter in 953 AD. For painter Mike Garton, these woods - a mixture of oak, beech, ash, wild cherry, sycamore and the more recently introduced larch and Douglas fir - were both his studio and his obsession. Every day for over two decades he would go and capture on canvas what he saw amongst the woodland canopy, leaving his works-in-progress rolled up in hidden dens.
He constructed a pool where a tree had fallen across a stream, and secretly tended it for many years. Jem Southam happened upon both painter and pool, and began to take pictures of the latter. The early photographs show signs of Garton's presence - an easel, poles of wood, bits of string - but as illness prevented him from working, these disappeared into their surroundings.
‘Firstly, I began to photograph the pool around the time Mike became ill. Eventually, the series of pictures grew initially from an attempt to see how the photographic medium might be used to deal with a similar set of concerns to those he had pursued through painting. So, In the early pictures signs of his presence “an easel, wooden poles, bent twigs and bits of string” appear. Gradually as time went on and he was no longer able to work these collapsed and disappeared into the fabric of the woods.’
- Jem Southam
The Painter's Pool is a touching story beautifully and discreetly revealed through the lens of one of Britain's most outstanding photographers. Jem Southam's work has been widely exhibited both in Europe and the United States, and is represented in many major collections such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Council.
Condition: Like new
Hardcover with protective dust cover: 64 pages
ISBN-10 : 1590051734
ISBN-13 : 978-1590051733
Dimensions : 30 x 0.6 x 37 cm
Publisher : Nazraeli Press; First edition (1 Feb. 2007)