Peter Jones contacted us last year, sharing with us his photographs of life as a Welsh farmer. His project ‘Welsh Farming Community’ is a reflection of his working life in Ceredigion, mid Wales.
Peter was born in 1947 in Aberystwyth where he grew up and went to school before leaving to attend a photographic course at Manchester College of Art and Design from 1966-69 where he was influenced by the work of Edward Weston and Tony Ray Jones and an eager follower of Creative Camera.
‘I went to look for work in London and found a job as John Thornton’s first assistant but came home one weekend and never went back, fate lent a hand and I became a farmer. I married, had 2 daughters and didn’t touch a camera for the next 30 years. However, my interest in photography was reawakened when my sister in law entered my name to take part in Ffotogallery’s “Just another Day” project which set out to record what people were doing at the turn of century.’
‘I have, what some might think, an old fashioned belief that a good photograph should stand and communicate on it’s own merit without descriptive text apart from perhaps location. I still shoot film.’
‘In 2008 I was diagnosed as having Parkinson’s Disease which restricts my photography but with a little ingenuity most problems can be overcome. I have never had an exhibition or a proper appraisal of my work due largely to my own apathy and remoteness.’
‘I see a photograph as a communication between viewer and photographer I don’t like labels or explanatory notes which may interfere with this. The picture either speaks or it doesn’t, words won’t change that fact.’
‘If you find your life tangled up with somebody else’s life for no very logical reasons,’ writes Bokonon, ‘that person may be a member of your karass’, (‘Cats Cradle’, Kurt Vonnegut).
‘Sometimes you meet those who surpass friendship, people you meet along the way who you find yourself holding inside your heart. That’s what this project began as, a way to celebrate the ones I feel connected to , whilst trying to confront taboos regarding the body and the way we view nudity. I’d like to think of these photographs not so much as nudes, but portraits of those I feel bound to, who happen to be naked.’
‘Karass is an ongoing project and I have nearly 30 more shoots to do with people interested in getting involved, so it will be interesting to see how the project changes as more people get involved. Maybe it will become more focused about the body and taboos, rather than the bond I feel with my subjects.’
Hannah Saunders is entering her Third Year of University on the Documentary Photography course at Newport and is based in Cardiff. ‘Karass’ is being exhibited in Romania as part of the Secvente Festival of Photography this September.
Hannah is also currently working with other women artists to form a collective named Origin.
This Friday 5th September at 6.30pm is the private view of ‘Made in Wales’ at Oriel Colwyn Gallery in Colwyn Bay.
It’s the second of our ‘Made in Wales’ exhibitions, with some additions to the show we held at Arcade Cardiff in March. The exhibition showcases some of the work that we have featured on our regular blog since we formed in 2013. The list and biographies of the photographers taking part can be found on the Oriel Colwyn website.
We hope you’ll join us for a drink, especially as there’ll be some North Wales beer supplied by the Great Orme Brewery.