The Family and the Land: Sally Mann

7 June -18 Sep 2010

The Family and The Land: Sally Mann was the last exhibition held at Ramillies Street before the refurbishment of The Photographers' Gallery building started in 2010. 

"The work of American photographer Sally Mann is deeply rooted in both her family and the landscape she lives and works in. This exhibition, her first solo show in the UK, draws on several powerful photographic series from throughout her long career that reflect these influences.

“Sally Mann (b.1951, USA) first came to prominence for Immediate Family (1984-94), a series of intimate and revealing portraits of her three young children Emmett, Jessie and Virginia. Taken over ten years, Mann depicts them playing and acting to camera in and around their homestead in Virginia. Capturing their childhood in all its rawness and innocence, both this and the later series Faces were born out of a collaborative process between mother and child.  The photographs are ghostly lit and covered with delicate marks and drip trails. These effects are the result of using the antique cameras and processes that Mann relishes, and that imbue them with a sense of time suspended. 

“The series What Remains (2000-04), brings together both the family and the landscape strands of this exhibition. Facing us are beautifully realised portraits of decomposing bodies returning to the land, photographs taken at a research facility in Tennessee. Dealing directly with the social taboo of death, Mann treats this subject with sensitivity, encouraging us to reflect on our mortality and place within nature's order.

 “The Family and The Land: Sally Mann at The Photographers' Gallery is an edited version of a touring exhibition, conceived by Sally Mann in collaboration with Hasse Persson, Director, Boras Museum of Modern Art, Sweden"

– Camilla Brown, then Senior Curator, The Photographers’ Gallery. Text from the exhibition leaflet.