‘City Stories’ - Photographs of Cardiff 1969-1977
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We have rescheduled the talk with Pete Davis to Wednesday 18th May at 7pm. Please book here: ‘Observations - Collections - Recollections’ - A Lifetime in Photography.'
The photographs of Splott, where Pete was brought up and went to school, were made at the time that the main employer in the area - the steelworks - was closing, and the area being pulled apart and 're-developed'. This was a substantial part of the city not just in transition but about to disappear altogether. Conscious of the very major changes there and the upheaval to the many residents at the time, Pete would return on numerous occasions to record the street life and the gradual decay and destruction of the urban landscape that he had regarded as home until the mid 1960’s. He also continued this work in the wider city environment as Cardiff was undergoing a gradual evolution from its post-war infrastructure to a more modern environment. Many aspects of the old city remained, and he felt it important at the time to record these as he went about his work as a photographer in the city. Ideas and attitudes to creative work alter as time progresses and reactions to certain images change as they are viewed in a different historical and social context from the ones in which they were created.
Over fifty years on from the beginning of this series, they represent an environment that is now nearly two generations removed from the time that they were made. A new audience can now observe and reflect on a time and place that has changed both visually and culturally. Ideas and attitudes to documentary work alter as time progresses and reactions to images change as they are viewed in a different historical and social context from the ones in which they were created. With the passage of time, extra layers of interest are added as they are viewed by later generations for whom they may be regarded as historical documents to reveal and inform about past times and places. For the generations that experienced those environments at the time, they become a combination of nostalgia and revived and relived memories.
The documentary photography of Dr Pete Davis can be seen in many important national and international art collections. These include the Arts Council of Wales, Museo Genna Maria, Sardinia, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Pete Has been taking photographs since the age of eleven. After ten years as an advertising and fashion photographer, Pete moved to rural west Wales from where he has embarked on numerous field trips around the British Isles, Europe and the USA undertaking his projects. He has twice represented Wales at the Festival Interceltique in Brittany, France and is a past recipient of the Wakelin Award for Welsh artists. For eighteen years Pete was senior lecturer in Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport and for nine years the course leader. He continues to teach and give masterclasses and is working on a number of ongoing major projects, books and exhibitions.
Pete Davis acknowledges the sponsorship of the Found Gallery Brecon and Silverprint.co.uk. who have generously supported this touring exhibition.