• A Landscape of Wales
    James Morris
    Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2010
    James Morris

James Morris, Dinorwig slate quarry (disused), Gwynedd, Wales. Courtesy of the artist.

"If you have not seen the Wales that is the subject of these photographs, then what obstacles of preconception have you put in the way? For this is how it is, untainted by an idealizing, a rhetorical, a sentimental, a proselytizing imagination."—Jim Perrin.

This book of photographs focuses on the occupied or man altered landscape of Wales, the smallest country within Great Britain and England's first and last colony—a relatively poor land struggling with its identity and economy in this post-rural, post-industrial age. It has, at various points in its history, been the world's largest exporter of copper, iron, slate, and coal. All this is gone and Tesco and tourism are the major employers now. The book explores the contemporary environment and the layers of history evident in that landscape. It reflects issues of land use that are specific to Wales and yet universal, and it accompanies a touring exhibition.

James Morris studied history but taught himself photography as a means to explore his interest in landscape and the built environment. He built a successful career working with magazine and book publishers and internationally revered contemporary architects, while communicating an understanding of architectural form and practice. In 2003, he published Butabu, an exploration of the unique vernacular architectural landscape of West Africa. In recent years, he has looked more broadly the impact of human intervention and presence in the landscape, and what we can understand from observing it. In 2010, he published A Landscape of Wales. His work has been exhibited internationally and he has received grants and awards from the Design and Art Directors Guild, the Graham Foundation, the European Union, the Arts Council of Wales, and the Welsh Books Council. His work is held in numerous collections including the British Council; the Museum of African Art, New York; Princeton University; the Victoria and Albert Museum; the Aga Khan Foundation; and the National Library of Wales.