Inspired by R.S Thomas’s poem ‘A welsh landscape’ I set out to challenge his negative portrayal of a country that I love so dearly today. Wales today is a far cry from Thomas’s ideologies of his welsh nationalistic values. This country is a multi-cultural and vibrant country that changes appearance from one region to the next yet its traditional values remain prominent throughout the land. For me this is a special and engaging place and the eccentric and eclectic mix of characters make this country as diversely intriguing as the ever-changing surroundings.
Spanning over the course of a year of traveling from north to south, this autobiographical documentation depicts a present day Wales that contradicts Thomas’s beliefs. The people I met had an affinity not only for the landscape but for one and other. Wherever I traveled there was a sense of belonging and the welcoming nature of those I photographed aloud me to build close relationships in these newly adopted temporary communities. Wales is a place of proud people and this is more evident today than ever before. For this isn’t a country that has lost its identity but one that has embraced other traditions and cultural influences which has strengthened its unity.
The following series is an intimate portrayal of those places and people I met along this journey that shows the harmonious beauty and tenderness of this historic land and its inhabitants.
Mark is a photographer based in South Wales, U.K. He graduated in 2013 with a degree in photojournalism from the university of Wales/ Trinity St David. His work has been widely featured throughout the world and exhibited across the country. His clients include Channel 4, The Telegraph Magazine, The Smith Journal, The Guardian and The Financial Times among others.
His work ‘The Healing Land’ received an honorable mention at the Moscow International Photography awards and in addition the work was voted as one of the ten best features of the week by Fotoroom magazine. He was highly commended at the British Life Photography awards in the portrait category and selected as a finalist at the Fotofilmic awards. More recently he has been specially commended for his work ‘Black Heathen’ at the ESPY international photography awards.
He enjoys engaging with different people and places and working on long term documentary projects.