Aberfan


You maybe asking yourself what happened to the blog??? Did he se-come to a deluge of spam(the real kind). Has he moved to pastures new or simply has he been on holiday. Sadly it was a holiday to Cornwall and Devon them back up through Wales. Time to get back into gear for the bar raising events for the next few months. I have over the last few months had my highs and lows. I’m finding this is one of th defects in my character. Cut me in half i’d probably be negative. However its the stuff around that which keeps my positive.

Negativity can be wrapped up and put into a little  box only to be re-taped up once the box becomes wet and worn. this for me was put into context at the later part of my holiday. Making are way through the rain of the valleys. I stumbled upon a sign for a little village. This village north of Merthyr Tydfil, like many a wet and wind-swept blip on the scared landscape of south Wales pours a cut deeper than most…

Aberfan, Wales most tragic of history portals. I decided that i should pay may respects to the events that took place in 1964. On winding your way to the hillside village you are met with two signs. Memorial Garden And Cemetery! Having seen the documentaries of where the blame was placed and actions of village didn’t put into context what i was going to view. Heading towards the memorial garden  I was not sure what to expect a plaque a wall. It was both in the re-built foundations/layout of the school. Now im a thick-skinned person with photography and art you some times need to be. However among the rain-swept drops of my face ran a tear…

as you can see the pictures show the walls. What you  can see is the back of the school where the coal waste entered the building


On leaving i found this plaque the reflection of the standard house you see in the valleys is captured in the picture to metaphor how close the village is and was. As well as how close to the houses it slag heap came. 144 people where crushed and suffocated at Aberfan in the school. A whole generation wiped. This did not in anyway prepare me for the magnitude of the grave yard in the village

By the time we got up to the graves the wind and rain was howling. Walking along it felt like a train leaving from a station 7,   8,    9,   10  7,  8,  9,  10 7, 8, 9, 10 7,8,9,10————– the volume of ages just started to blur into one, each time capsule of a small child’s life multiplying into a mass off numbers. the only time the chain would break was a picture on the grave adding more substance to the whole tribute. A face to the name changes everything. I was moved by what i saw as will be the case with most onlookers. Why i choose to write about this from my holiday i don’t know. Is this the middle streak of my make up. The fact the deal with things on my mind head. Only time again will tell?

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Author: alanwhitfield80

Hello! I get about a bit so here about me first. I am a visual artist and poet who works within the context of fine art. My work is grounded in documentary, exploring the inner beauty of everyday life through various lens based media. Notions of nostalgia and social commentary are present, but from a definite northern working class perspective. Instinctively I exploring the townscapes of North Wales and the North West, often producing work that reflects the every day minutiae of life.

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