"I have always been interested in the history of the South Wales Valleys, to think what the Valleys would be like today if the collieries had stayed open? The jobs, social wellbeing and other benefits they would bring to the community. Would the communities be as they were when the collieries were open or almost as deserted as they are today? Shops closing, job shortages, the impact of closing the collieries can be seen all throughout the South Wales Valleys", reflects Chris Aylward on his new exhibition of work.
At the beginning of the 1900’s coal was king, it powered the manufacturing industry, the transport industry, the Navy’s fleet along with being used at home, to cook and warm houses. In the Rhondda Valley alone there were over 70 working collieries. By the early 1990’s, there was only one deep mine left in South Wales, with all other collieries closed the job losses well exceeded 25,000.
This exhibition contains images Chris has captured from across the Valleys, Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare, the Rhondda and further towards Pontypool. They capture the legacy that the once dominating industry left behind, the ruined buildings, scarred landscape and social and economic demise of the local communities.
The launch event is Saturday 5th December 5-8pm
Show runs from 5th December 2015 - 5th January 2016
Venue opening times 9-5pm