Simon Norfolk: Time Taken at Michael Hoppen Gallery, London

Multi award-winning photographer Simon Norfolk holds his third exhibition with Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, late this summer, showing images taken between 2013 and 2014 in the war-torn Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan. Once known for the immense 170 foot standing Buddhas carved into its cliff faces, the region has been destroyed in conflict with the Taliban.

Norfolk’s images are less a reflection on the location’s past as its present, following the changes that the now very different region experiences in the course of the year, setting up his camera to capture the passing of the seasons. Norfolk’s shots capture the homesteads, mountainsides, fields, forests and rivers of the valley in simple, honest and intimate depictions – even capturing the branches of a tree as they fall, heavy with sap in summer and then lift in autumn. The cycles featured in these images are a reminder of the resilience of nature, and of humankind, despite the constant presence of war in the region.

These images are the first chapter in a three-part study of the passing of time, named “stratographs,” which capture the Afghan culture that Norfolk sees as anchored in “the landscape itself.” He elaborates: “it is all around, but one has to stop, sit quietly and take time, to see it at work.”

Simon Norfolk: Time Taken, 3 August – 8 September, Michael Hoppen Gallery,  3 Jubilee Pl, London SW3 3TD.

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1. Time Taken 2, High Summer, 2013-2014, © Simon Norfolk. Courtesy of Simon Norfolk and Michael Hoppen Gallery.