Creative Photography and Wales

Book published by University of Wales Press, 2012

Creative Photography and Wales explores the development of practices within photography undertaken in and about the south Wales Valleys during the second half of the twentieth century. The publication is the first significant review of the history of photography in this specific field, and is of potential interest to an international audience as it explores the work of one of the most significant photographers of the twentieth century. It is also relevant to those interested in the development of national photographic sensibilities.

Central to this publication is an examination of the work of the American photographer W. Eugene Smith, who photographed in the Valleys in 1950, and how his practice influenced the wider development of ‘creative photography’. The term ‘creative photography’ is applied here as a description of photography during a period of its transition, moving beyond a recognised position as a pragmatic communicative medium, toward its wider acknowledgement as a significant form of artistic expression. This publication considers a range of processes through which photography largely achieved this acceptance.

Photographers working in the Valleys subsequent to Smith are also examined including those engaged in the ‘Valleys Project’ undertaken during the 1980’s. This publication reveals how social, economic and political factors not only shaped Smith’s work, but also shaped the increasingly varied modes of photographic representation seen in the latter part of the twentieth century.

Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: University of Wales Press
Language English
ISBN-10: 0708325114
ISBN-13: 978-0708325117


This volume seeks to put both the photography of Wales and Welsh Photography on the map. Cabuts' work is a seminal one.
Amanda Hopkinson - New Welsh Review

a thoroughly researched and intelligent book that, happily, never loses its readability. Insightful and informative it is, I believe, an important critical contribution to the visual culture of Wales.
Anthony Brockway - Babylon Wales