As far as I’m aware I have no Welsh blood in me. However, I’ve always felt a very strong draw to Wales, and every time I’ve visited it has felt like home. I’m not sure if it’s the exceptionally welcoming communities across the country or perhaps the achingly beautiful landscapes that pull me back time and time again, but whatever it is, there are few places in the world that call me like Wales.
During 2021 and 2022, my partner Meg and I travelled across the country from Port Talbot to Carmarthen, to towns and villages within Pembrokeshire. We spent time exploring areas of outstanding natural beauty as well as spending time in the company of locals, learning about their connection with their community, their town and their country. And most noticeably, their pride in being Welsh.
Armed with a couple of film cameras, a few lenses and a cache of film stock, I wanted to document what I found on our travels, but without a deep knowledge of Welsh culture or any real preconceptions, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to photograph. I decided to keep one camera loaded with black and white film and the other loaded with colour and simply shoot freely. The result was contact sheets full of landscape photography, portraits, beach scenes, architecture and documentary photography verging on photojournalism.
After spending some time with the photographs, I realised there was a thread between them: principally the relationship that we have with our environment and nature, how we cultivate that and how we are bound by it. The book is a wander through this idea. It is a slow, hand-held walk that explores the vast beauty of the natural, how we’re connected to it and how we also remove ourselves from it (or are forced away from it).