Bristol: RWA invites everyone to visit ‘A Bend in the River’ by Jem Southam


The Royal West of England Academy (RWA) invited everyone to visit A Bend in the River by Jem Southam in collaboration with Bristol Photo Festival, as it is its last week. A Bend in the River by Jem Southam shows a series of photographs demonstrating subtle shifts in the environment over some period of time, following the movements of swans in 2 parts: representing arrival (at dusk) & departure (at dawn).

The RWA said, “Join RWA Volunteer Bogdana for our Tuesday tour of the Photo Open Exhibition and Jem Southam: A Bend in the River. Tuesday 18th April, 12pm.”


“The tour is included in your exhibition ticket and will start at 12 pm on the upstairs landing. You will learn how an Open Exhibition works at the RWA and get to put yourself in Jem Southam’s shoes as Bogdana tells the story of his many days by the banks of the River Exe,” it added.

The photographs were clicked at a particular place on a riverbank in the South West of England where Jem Southam became lost in contemplation one December evening. He came back to the same site every day during the rest of the winter.

Over the period of the following five years, between 2015-2020, Southam persisted in creating a series in the same location. The ever-changing surface of the water, trees waving in the breeze, passing clouds, ducks gliding across the river, and swans flying to roost caught Jem Southam’s attention, and what started as passing digital photos led to a powerful ongoing series of profoundly affecting photography.

The RWA added, “Our Season of Photography is in its final month! One entry ticket gives you access to the Photo Open Exhibition and Jem Southam’s ‘A Bend in the River’. Together these showcase the breadth of photographic practice, from painterly abstract pieces to photojournalism.”

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