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James Morris challenges the tourist clichés and looks at the impact of human presence and the layers of history in the landscape of Wales. He reflects upon issues of identity, exploitation and regeneration; it is a land of beauty and of hardship where – in this post industrial, post rural economy – Tesco and tourism are now the great employers.
These are the contrasting realities of the Welsh landscape – that seen by the many visitors and that experienced by most inhabitants. Morris moves between tourist hot spots and the terraces and back streets where the majority of people live. The latter are often hard bitten unpretty places, often built for reasons that are no longer relevant. No longer the world’s largest producer of iron, coal, copper or slate, these are places that have lost their historic and heroic status, sometimes even their raison d’etre. Regeneration is taking place, but it is taking its time. By contrast the tourist landscape is one of pleasure seeking and escape – this is the Wales that visitors are sold and want to see. But in a small country, this selling of culture for the tourist pound has complex consequences that add to the other complexities that have shaped so much of the landscape.
James Morris is an award-winning photographer of landscape and the built environment. Based in the Wales, his work is in many private and public collections including The British Council; Museum of African Art, New York; Princeton University; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the National Library of Wales.
Brought up in Manchester, Jim Perrin is an award-winning writer of Welsh descent. His books include River Map (Gomer, 2001), The Villain: the life of Don Whillans (Hutchinson, 2005) and Travels with the Flea (In Pinn, 2003). The Climbing Essays won the mountaineering Literature Award at the 2006 Banff Mountain Festival. He now lives in the Pyrenees.
Hardback, 112 pages
83 colour photographs
338mm x 278mm
with support from the Welsh Books Council, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Arts Council Wales