Simon Robinson is a multi-media artist working on an AHRC funded practice based PhD exploring the regeneration of the Thames Gateway region. His current research work is interested in exploring the built landscape photographically and it’s relationship with the natural world, as well as the importance of site specific projects. This body of work sets out to explore and document through still/moving image, sound recording, mapping and interviews what he describes as urban archipelagos of interstitial land. Exploring Ian Nairn’s idea of subtopian sprawl he aims to demonstrate that our everyday urban spaces aren’t entirely populated by a homogenised landscape, and that our interstitial sites contribute a large amount to a locations individual character.
The resulting film works will form a cross-disciplinary reading of place and be informed by an experiential methodology of both ethnographic and auto ethnographic methods. Through examining both landscape theory and his own experience of an embodied approach to landscape, his work examines not only the potential of lens based media to act as a portal to read and experience the landscape whole, but also the practice and process of making works phenomenologically.
His films have been shown at both the Tate Britain and the British Library to support major conferences on visual urbanism, as well as academic events both at home and abroad. He was also shortlisted by the AHRC for their tenth anniversary film award, in the category 'best film by an AHRC/AHRB- funded doctoral student since 1998'. The judging panel said "a poised and highly accomplished film that leaves the viewer with an insight into the subject but eager to see more".
Estuary England is the first part of a continuing series of films, exploring themes surrounding the disjointed development of the Thames Gateway region. Using Photography, sound, and moving image to act as a portal to read and experience the landscape, the film explores the area surrounding the Queen Elizabeth II crossing at West Thurrock and investigates the notion of the pull of a contemporary 'empire of London' in its surrounding satellite towns. These films will attempt to extend, and explore the way we see the marginal landscape and extend that understanding at part of a multi-modal engagement leading to the creation of a series of spatial ethnographic films under the title 'Zones of Change'.