“For ours you see, was Welsh Steam Coal”, 2018 | Adam Elliott


Adam is a Documentary Photographer currently based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. His current work has been focused around the theme of non-places; communities and spaces that are often overlooked.

We asked Adam to tell us about his most recent project.

Situated deep within the Valleys of South Wales, ‘For ours you see, was Welsh Steam Coal’ is a visual exploration of how communities have been shaped by the coal-mine industry and its demise. The majority of these images were taken in the county of Blaenau Gwent. It is traditionally a coal-mining and steel-working region, located in the midst of the once prosperous South Wales Coalfields.

’The long rows of terraced houses which run almost unbroken for twenty miles along the hillsides of the South Wales valleys are there for only one reason: the demands of an industry in what was once the most famous coal-mining area in the world.’ Patrick Hannan – Welsh Journalist, 2000.

This project aimed to explore the fragility of such communities like those in the valleys - a photographic study of how towns like these establish new relationships with a society that is no longer recognisable as the one in which they grew up. The majority of this work was made in Blaina, a small town that has been failed by the industry that once made it so prosperous. I made contact with many people from Blaina, and was continuously inspired by their welcoming attitudes and genuine friendliness. In the early stages of the project, the local pub was the perfect place to meet people. Five minutes inside and I had a bed for the night and a tour guide for the next day.

To see more of Adam's work, visit www.adamelliottphoto.com

All images and text © Adam Elliott