I discovered photography in 1996 through skateboarding and the culture that surrounds it. My inspiration comes from a wide subject matter and I consider myself predominantly a documentary photographer, shooting stories from both a traditional and contemporary approach. I have travelled widely in pursuit of inspiration and knowledge, capturing on film a multitude of cultures and landscapes. My work has been featured in many publications and I have taken part in over forty exhibitions both nationally and internationally.
The idea for Suicide Machine came about in 2009 whilst checking into London’s Gatwick Airport for a flight. After looking at my passport, the desk attendant asked, Bridgend, isn’t that where all the suicides are? In that moment it dawned on me that the town where I was born, grew up in and still live was now infamous. In 2013 I decided to start documenting my town and the people who live here. What is it that makes a normal town like Bridgend end up with such a bad reputation? On the surface it is just like any other town. In fact, it’s probably a step above other towns due to its near-perfect location, lying alongside the M4 corridor, a mere two and a half hours drive from London. Additionally, Bridgend sits just ten minutes away from beautiful coastlines and wonderful valleys and is twenty minutes equidistant between Wales’ two main cities, Cardiff and Swansea.
I want to rediscover Bridgend and find out if it is as oppressive and regressive as I am starting to believe. What does the future hold for Bridgend, a town that is slowly being constricted by supermarkets and out of town developments? Does happiness exist here? Why has there been an exodus of most of my friends? Is aesthetic regeneration really the answer?
What kind of town will my daughter grow up in?