Born in Lagos in 1963, and educated in Oxford and Bristol, Simon Norfolk is a landscape photographer whose work over the past fifteen years has been themed around a probing and stretching of the meaning of the word 'battlefield' in all its forms. As such he has photographed in some of the world's worst war-zones and refugee crises, but is equally at home photographing supercomputers used to design military systems or test-launches of nuclear missiles.
"Simon Norfolk is a very talented driven young photographer who is pursuing one of life’s big questions with intensity and focused intention. He is studying war, and its effects on many things: the physical shape of our cities and natural environments, social memory, the psychology of societies, and more."
- Jim Casper, Lensculture
A recurring theme in Simon Norfolk's work is time. Focused on contemporary events and interest, his past works Afghanistan: Chronotopia and Ascension and Island: The Panopticon found Norfolk capturing landscapes awash in the social and political layers of recent human history. With Stratographs, his most recent project, Norfolk's ambition was to map, in his words, "time's thickness" by illustrating the swiftly receding Lewis Glacier on Mount Kenya, and the slow slippage of the seasons in war torn Afghan landscape.
Norfolk's work has been widely recognised: he has won The Discovery Prize at Les Rencontres d'Arles in 2005; the Infinity Prize from The International Center of Photography in 2004; and the European Publishing Award in 2002. In 2003 he was shortlisted for the Citibank Prize (now known as the Deutsche Böurse Prize), and in 2013 he won the Prix Pictet Commission. His work has been shown internatinally, and is held in many major collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Getty in Los Angeles, SF MOMA, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO. In 2011 his Burke+Norfolk work was a solo show at Tate Modern.