Paul Reas

Portrait of Paul Reas

Traditionally the South Wales Valleys have been an area of heavy industrial importance, their steel mills and coal mines fuelling the British economy.

In recent years, these industries have suffered a drastic decline, in some areas disappearing entirely. As a result, an established work force was left with no meaningful employment. It was this very problem that heralded the creation of the Welsh Development Agency and similar bodies to attract new industry to the area - resulting in the development of new trading estates. Amongst the most successful of these ventures was the establishment of high technology industries. For Paul Reas, it was these ‘high tech’ industries and their subsequent effects on the communities that triggered his imagination: “I firstly looked at the development of the factories themselves and the industrial estates they occupied. The work process itself was also a specific area of interest. As more and more of the jobs became automated, what effects did this have on the nature of the work and the workforce itself.”


Paul Reas - The Valleys Project, 1985