thu 18/04/2024

Photo Gallery: A Landscape of Wales | reviews, news & interviews

Photo Gallery: A Landscape of Wales

Photo Gallery: A Landscape of Wales

Photographed: the scars left by industry on the face of Wales

Polemical landscape: Dinorwic slate quarry (disused), GwyneddAll images © James Morris

The Welsh landscape promoted by the tourist board is a known entity. Postcard photographers patrol its contours waiting for the rains to desist and the sun to peer out so that they can snap splendid estuaries, meadowed shores patrolled by a lone diesel train, elegant county towns hibernating in the fold of a loafy hill, aqueducts and crumbling abbeys, beetling peaks and labyrinthine ravines.

These photographs by James Morris, from a new exhibition and book, find another, sterner Wales imposed on the old familiar template.

The post-industrial Wales depicted here doesn’t always win admirers. Abandoned slate quarries, the scarred coalfield, caravan parks and terraced streets are all emblems of a Wales which saw the wealth, hewn out of the rock by its labourers, migrate elsewhere. And then there are the valleys dammed and flooded to keep the cities of Birmingham and Liverpool in hot bath water. And yet, while Morris's collection is of polemical landscapes, they have their own kind of frowning beauty.


  1. Craig Goch, Elan Valley, Powys
  2. Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd
  3. Ferndale, Rhondda Cynon Taf
  4. Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent
  5. Blaengwynfi, West Glamorgan
  6. Neyland, Pembrokeshire
  7. Dragon Hotel, Swansea
  8. Sunnysands Caravan Park, Gwynedd


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