Where once there was life and energy, these now hidden and forgotten places sit in suspended silence. These atmospheric photographs offer a glimpse of stories from the past that are slowly fading.
“The idea for my Hidden Wales project grew from my lifelong fascination and love of exploring off-the-beaten-track places. Like many, I’ve always been drawn to the mysteries within hidden and derelict places. The stories that I imagined, contained within their silent, crumbling walls always fired my imagination. The wonderful thing for me on this photographic journey, has been to discover that their truth is usually far more interesting, touching and colourful than the stories I could ever have imagined of them.
Someone once said there is beauty in decay. This saying has always resonated with me. I always seek to try and reflect this quality in my images. As we ourselves grow older and bear the marks and scars of our lives, so too these special places are indelibly marked with the lives and stories of the people who created, shaped, lived and died in them.
The legacy of great material wealth is usually preserved and maintained, in the form of monuments, follies, estates, mansions and palaces etc. The dwellings, workplaces and communal hubs of everyday people, however, are rarely afforded the same luxury. They are all too often neglected and forgotten. I wanted my project to record these once important buildings for posterity, before they eventually decay and disappear completely.
There are glimpses of stories here from simple, domestic lives, the importance of family and community; to ecological disaster and wartime developments that lead to the dawn of the nuclear age.
Personally, the images convey a mixture of emotions to me. Differing senses of happiness, sadness, melancholy, nostalgia, love and loss. The universal stories of life. I hope my images and their stories will elicit your own emotions, and that you, the viewer, will feel a connection with them.
Photographing these hidden places has given me much peace and pleasure, as well as a few adventures along the way. More often than not, it’s the process of discovering them that I’ve enjoyed the most. The majority of the locations were found by word of mouth, contacts, local knowledge and a good deal of research and diligence. However, some of the best and unexpected discoveries were made by getting lost, random luck or a chance conversation.”