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Inside/Out exhibition

Updated: Mar 18

'Past Materials #3'

Helen Acklam, James Vassallo and myself all have personal connections with the valleys of South Wales. Myself and James currently live in South Wales. I was born in Ystrad Mynach in the Rhymney valley; Helen was brought up in the Garw Valley, where her family had lived since the 1840’s. The three of us have known of each other’s work for some time and were aware of the crossover of interests in this unique landscape & our practices.

When invited to ‘walk & talk’ in the Garw valley with Helen following her introspective ‘What it is to be there’ project, I was instantly struck by the area’s beauty, its history and by its resilience. With invaluable help from the Garw Historical Society I spent time immersing myself in a photographic archive documenting the ‘reclamation’ of the Ocean Colliery, the area now known as the ‘top lake’.


The archive provided the inspiration for my contribution to the Inside/Out exhibition. Time spent finding a connection with the reconstructed landscape and the layers of history literally bubbling to the surface, not only echoed my own journey of re-discovery in Wales but also the process of adding and stripping away visual layers, used in my own practice.


For the exhibition I made two bodies of digital photography (‘Past materials’ & ‘Rising to the surface’), plus a series of the instant film documentary prints. A sound collage ‘walking up David St’ was constructed from a series of Field Recordings made with friend and sound artist Phil Cass in and around the ‘top lake’.




Open: 01.11.23 - 26.03.24 

Days: Mon-Fri (10:00-17:00)

For more information: University of South Wales

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