file under: #wales #Hiraeth #memory #walking #nostalgia
In 2014 I embarked on a journey to explore what my homeland of Wales meant to me in relation to the Welsh word Hiraeth.
Hiraeth is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation but is often defined as a kind of homesickness or memory tinged with grief or sadness. A mix of longing, yearning or wistfulness for a place, person or memory of the past. A nostalgic reflection or memory that often invokes melancholy, as the reflection or memory is one of elation and happiness of a place or loved one that can often never be felt again.
Using the entire coastline of Wales as a catalyst, the resulting body of work witnessed my endeavour to encounter and capture experiences of Hiraeth. To do this I continuously walked nine hundred miles of coastline over a seventy-day period, sleeping in hand constructed shelters or staying in isolated hotels or campsites, all with the aim of bringing me closer to experiences of nostalgia, memory and Hiraeth reflected in the people and landscape I encountered.
Gareth Phillips was born in 1979 in Cardiff, Wales. He graduated from University of Wales, Newport, in September 2007, with a degree in Documentary Photography. In 2007 he was accepted into the Eddie Adams Workshop in New York, in which he won the B & H Assignment Award in recognition of his work. In 2008, Gareth became a freelance photographer, regularly commissioned by the Guardian, The Sunday Times Magazine, FT Weekend Magazine, Wall Street Journal and the British Council. His photographs have also appeared in, Newsweek, British Journal for Photography, The Observer, Stern and others. Gareth’s work has been internationally recognized in exhibitions and awards, most notably the Ian Parry Award 2007, Welsh Livery Society Award for Photographic Excellence 2007, the Magenta Photography Awards 2008 and the British Council Open Cities Photographic Commission 2010. Gareth is part of the MJR Photographic Collective based in New York and works out of London and Cardiff, UK.