Arddangosfa / 15 Hyd – 3 Rhag 2016

in solution

David Barnes

Emerging from the economic and social fallout of the decline of the region’s heavy industries, communities in south Wales are re-defining themselves for a new future.

in solution offers a series of evolving and interconnected strands that explore the active processes and changing ideas of culture in contemporary society and the tensions between a local experience of place and an increasingly global world.

The work considers nuances and unseen particularities of community life, ranging from often overlooked processes of environmental change or rural development, to the various subtle systems that can be seen to affect 'lived' experience and inter-generational change. in solution also questions the complex histories and ideologies that impact on our lives and the way in which ideas and systems become more or less dominant with the passing of time.

“Structures of feeling can be defined as social experiences in solution. 'Feeling' is chosen to emphasize a distinction from more formal concepts of 'world view' or 'ideology'. It is not only that we must go beyond formally held and systematic beliefs, though of course we always have to include them. It is that we are concerned with meanings and values that are actively lived and felt, and the relations between these and formal or systematic beliefs [Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature 1977]

This new Ffotogallery commission, supported by the Arts Council of Wales and Caerphilly County Borough Council, reflects Barnes’ work over the last four years. As a continuation of his long-term preoccupation with life and history in the region, in solution explores the competing forces that shape social identity and cultural change.

Proffil Artist

David Barnes

David Barnes’ ‘expanded’ documentary practice moves seamlessly between the still and moving image. For over 20 years, his work has centred on ‘small nation’ communities, family and identity in Europe (with a particular focus on South Wales). Although grounded in documentary, his work is intended to be what he characterises as a ‘conversation’ rather than a singular representation of people and place. The artist has exhibited widely in the UK and Europe, including in Germany, Poland, France and Italy. Winner of the Photographic Award in Wales Artist of the Year 2013. Senior Lecturer in Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales and PhD researcher with the European Centre for Photography.