AboutIn 2012, Ken Griffiths created Quiet Heroes, a series of portraits of people and places. The photographs celebrate individuals who make extraordinary contributions to their communities. There are heroes in every town and village.
As a nation the Welsh are known for a strong sense of local belonging. Wales has a sense of intimacy, as well as offering variety and uniqueness.
The mountains in the North, the cities and valleys of the South, the fishing communities of the West and the agricultural East all epitomise Wales and influence the sitters differently.
Quiet Heroes is a record of community life in Wales that will live on and continue long after the time when the people and possibly the world they live in have disappeared.
Ken Griffiths has a significant international reputation as a photographer. It is evident in Griffiths' portraits that he has a rare ability to make his images directly speak to the viewer, making them feel and see that they would otherwise not have experienced. He is able to capture his sitters' dignity and pride.
His previous projects have included extended photo essays on the Texas panhandle, the Abruzzo region in Italy, the Smithfield meat market, Lincoln's Inn homeless, the controversial three gorges dam project on the Yangtze and most recently the Welsh experience in Patagonia. He has a strong personal connection to Wales and spends a significant amount of time in Snowdonia. His family lived for generations in Merthyr Tydfil and Newport until they were deported to Australia and from there on to New Zealand.
The photographs were taken using a Gandolfi 10 x 8 wooden plate camera. Griffiths has found throughout his career that subjects relax and are amused by the efforts the photographer has to make to take their portrait. The art of photography is highly personal. For Griffiths, the moment the shutter is clicked is the real moment, the truth. In his rich body of work he has shown an interest in capturing on film places and people that stand in danger of not having a voice or of disappearing. Griffiths believes he became a photographer to record people, landscapes, buildings and street scenes without manipulation of the image.
The works in the exhibition are black-and-white silver prints made by master printer Robin Bell. Bell has printed for some of the world's finest photographers including Don McCullin, Bill Brandt, Lee Miller and Terence Donovan.
Quiet Heroes is presented by Rainy Day Films, hosted by Ffotogallery and supported by the Arts Council of Wales.