• Kickplate Gallery (map)
  • 3 Church Street
  • Abertillery NP13 1DB
  • United Kingdom
© Roger Tiley

© Roger Tiley

The Kickplate Gallery in Abertillery kicks off another photography exhibition for 2016 with a personal selection of mining life images captured by Roger Tiley who was also one of the original photographers in Ffotogallery's 'Valleys Project' (you can download some info on the project and Rogers work in a PDF via this link).

Roger Tiley was born and has lived in the south Wales valleys all of his life. Although he has spent the past twenty six years living in Ystradgynlais in the Swansea valley, Roger is a native of the Gwent val­leys, living in Crosskeys and attending Cwmcarn Secondary Modern School in the mid 1970s, when many of his school friends went to work in the pits.

After working as an apprentice photographer for Lucas Girling in Cwmbran, he decided to specialise in documentary photography. His work has been exhibited and published across the world, and he is the author of a number of books. Roger's support and understanding of working class communities has won him many awards and accolades. He has documented mining area, not only in the UK, but also capturing life in the coal camps of Appalachia USA, and Welsh descendants in Pennsylvania. Most recently, he was the only photographer commissioned to capture life at the UK's last deep coal mine, Kellingley, north Yorkshire. He spent the last two weeks before the Big K closed, photographing underground, spending twelve hour shifts capturing life on the coal face.

In 1982, Roger wrote to the NCB in Cardiff asking permission to visit the Celynen South colliery in Newbridge, in order to take photographs.

I was a student studying on the Documentary Photography course at Newport College of Art. After a few weeks, I received a letter granting me permission to visit the colliery. This was the beginning of an interesting and heart-breaking journey, where I would witness in­dustrial communities that would face decimation, not only in south Wales, but also the coalfields across the United Kingdom.
— Roger Tiley

For this new exhibition at The Kickplate Gallery, Roger is returning home to exhibit his early photographs of mining life, including images of the Celynen South Colliery, Crumlin Mines Rescue and the picket lines and soup kitchens during the 1984/85 miners' strike.

It’s interesting to look at the photographs I took during the 1980s; they bring back many happy and indeed, sad memories. I would never have thought they would be the beginning of a journey to witnessing such an historic period of industrial distruction. The miners, whether in south Wales, or in other parts of the UK and USA, are always friendly.
I love spending time with them and their families - they are the best.
— Roger Tiley
© Roger Tiley

© Roger Tiley

© Roger Tiley

© Roger Tiley


Coal Faces : Changing Places runs 8 October - 5 November 2016 and has its opening with the photographer the following week Saturday 15 October 12.00-4.00pm. A limited edition book of the same name will also be available to buy - so go along to the opening on 15th October to have one signed by the photographer!
All welcome and admission is free.

Check The Kickplate Gallery page on Facebook for other opening times.
Follow them on Twitter @KickplateGall