TRAVEL & PLACE | Caersws Magic

I hope you can forgive me, but when it comes to my home country I have a very soft heart, I seem to go all glossy eyed and romantic when I think of this beautiful piece of the world.

Wales, it rains a lot, but without that rain you wouldn’t have Wales. The smell of the earth, it’s life. No wonder there was so much industry in this little country, the ground on which we walk hides a wealth of minerals that seemed to keep the world moving forward at one stage. Now, Wales give’s great pleasure and relaxation to the millions who visit it every year to go walking it’s great peaks, and it caters for the hardier as well as the less hardy or merely the ones who want to lie on one of it’s outstanding coastal beaches if the thought of walking makes you come over all tired. On some days though you become witness to scenes like this and you can still believe your an explorer. You could also be forgiven in thinking you have seen the dragon of Wales silently glide from around that distant mountain and clear the mist just long enough to catch a glimpse but still not sure what you saw. It is true you know, if you stand still long enough you can hear the sounds of gurgling streams, the sound of sheep on the mountain sides depending on the time of year. But for me as a photographer it’s light that gets my creative juices flowing and on this day God was putting on one incredible show, after all this is His favourite country.

I was staying with my brother on one of my bi-annual visits from Australia. He lives in the small hamlet village of Carno, Powys in the Parish of Montgomeryshire, it’s one of those places you seem to pass through on your way to greater things. His cottage, I might add you can now hire for your next Welsh escape, lies alongside the main A470, the main road that takes from the south to the north but being so rural you wouldn’t think so. The name of the village is said to have derived from the welsh word for cairn (carnedd), as there are many ancient cairns on the hills surrounding the village. One claim to fame for this little place is the designer and entrepreneur Laura Ashley who is buried in the churchyard. Anyway. I woke one autumn morning to witness this beautiful show of weather moving down through the valley. Grabbing my camera I photographed some of these scenes from the bedroom window, until I couldn’t contain myself any more and just had to get out and soak up the best of Welsh mountain weather and we hadn’t even eaten breakfast as yet. It was early and very still with a quietness you can expect in such a beautiful piece of Wales, no cars, no walkers, just this peacefulness with a smell of earth. We drove up to the top of the mountain pulling into the side of the country lane just the once to let the local farmer through with his tractor, not quite at the top we pulled over to make more images, the valley of Caersws seemed to want to be photographed this day.

A beautiful Autumn morning in Carno, Wales as the mist drops down into the Cledan valley.

A beautiful Autumn morning in Carno, Wales as the mist drops down into the Cledan valley.

A beautiful Autumn morning in Carno, Wales as the mist drops down into the Cledan valley.

A beautiful Autumn morning in Carno, Wales as the mist drops down into the Cledan valley.

A beautiful Autumn morning in Carno, Wales as the mist drops down into the Cledan valley.

Jasmine | Mud Running Glam Chic.

How I came to start this series was with a question. What is it to live as a woman today, as well as, have women themselves changed? You could say this is my attempt to make images against the terror of perfection. Looking at a woman’s strength. Hoping to capture naked images and I don’t mean naked body parts, I mean show the camera who as a woman you really are, the natural beautiful person women are. My instruction to each person was simply be who you are and trust me to see and hopefully capture that truth. I didn’t want images that just appealed to men, some of whom see them as possessions. This, I hope is the first in a set of three. Three set’s of images of true stories. Three set’s of images of life. Indeed, of lives. A set of images to talk about what it means to be today’s woman.

This is the content of my photographs, dedicated to women. A narrative that questions not on the concept of women as much as on that of not one concept of femininity, but many. Not so much about their beauty but about their power, presence, personality and influence. As a photographer I am in some way responsible for reflecting of women in society, me personally I want that to be one of individuality.

When Jasmine said yes to helping me out she responded with… I am strong and healthy but a mum of 3. Mud running glam chic and I love horses … a bit of everything. My body image … I love that I am tall and try to carry myself confidently. But every girl has those things she doesn’t like. Perfect for the series. I said.

Thank you Jasmine.