“And it wasn’t just here in front of his eyes that the work of those hard hands could be seen. He could imagine many countries all over the world, endless rows of houses roofed with slates from Moel Arian, and the same moon shining down on them as was throwing its spears of light on Moel Arian tonight.”
– Feet in Chains by Kate Roberts
The hills of North Wales have been transformed by the large-scale extraction of slate; its mass manipulation spawning towns and communities, its dissemination satisfying a global demand. The landscape bears the scars of this conquest, and nurtures stories of its making.
A past dependence on the rock continues to shape the human narratives unfolding within these hills and valleys.
Meanwhile, on distant rooftops of towns and cities forged by the very same forces of industry, the dwindling vestiges of these mountainsides endure amongst the glass, concrete and steel.
Through a dialogue between drawing and photography, artists Tom Baskeyfield and Mario Popham continue their exploration into how we have shaped, and in turn, been shaped by stone.
Mario Popham is a photographer of Japanese and English descent who is currently based in Manchester. He received his B.A. Honours in photography at Manchester School of Art in 2007. His interests lie in man’s paradoxical relationship to nature and how this finds expression within the post-industrial British landscape.
Tom Baskeyfield is a multi disciplinary visual artist interested in relationships between people, place, nature and landscape. In 2011 he was awarded an MA in Art and Environment from Falmouth University for his project Of Time in Field, in which he immersed himself in the life of a field for one crop cycle.