Ray Klimek

Cwm Bargoed 1
20 x 24 in.

“Welsh Tips” examines the landscapes of the mining valleys of South Wales. In 1964, Gwynn Thomas described coal tips as perpetually changing landscapes, their “blasphemous lack of green” eventually giving way to a “dim grudging grass.” As a result of various events ranging from the Aberfan Disaster of 1966 to the wide-scale closing of collieries in the Thatcherite 80’s, tips have been landscaped, grassed over, leveled and otherwise transformed. Yet traces of the mining industry remain in telling shapes and colors, particularly in the pattern of black soil and “grudging grass” that marks many corners of South Wales.

My work approaches these residual areas as sites of constant flux, continually shaped and reshaped by the interaction of natural and cultural processes. I am especially interested in the interplay of geological, historical and biological time as it reveals itself within the fabric of the land.

© Ray Klimek