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Ha-Ha: Margam Revisited

Published by Seren

ISBN: 9781854113306

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Margam Park was the ancestral home of the Fox Talbots, of whom Henry was a pioneering photographer. Some of the earliest photographic images were made there. Steel made Margam Park, whose gothic mansion looks down on the town of Margam and the works formerly owned by the Fox Talbots. Today, it is Margam Country Park, owned by the local authority and a leisure facility open to the public - and to the workers of those steelworks.

A feature of the old park was its ha-ha, a ditch which creates an invisible barrier between mansion and estate. Through stunningly produced photographs this book revisits this birthplace of the form and portrays it anew in contemporary landscape styles. The photographers also explore past class distinctions and the changing social history of both town and estate, a subject addressed in words by one of them, Karen Ingham, and at greater length by Hugh Adams, art lecturer and cultural critic who returns to the scene of his childhood to discuss its artistic and social heritage. The result is a unique and beautiful journey through the history of a place which has significance in industrial, social and photographic history.

Co-published with Swansea Institute and Ffotogallery.

Karen Ingham was raised in a peripatetic Texan oil family, moving across the States and into Germany and Norway before coming to Britain to study for a degree in Creative Photography in Nottingham. Ingham subsequently worked in film and television arts and journalism as a script-writer and director. Her award winning, screenplays include Salvation Guaranteed (1990 British Film Institute and C4) which was shown in competition at festivals worldwide including Berlin and Chicago; Crystal Blues (1993 British Film Institute and BBC Wales) part of the prestigious BBC Wales 'Playhouse' series; and High Winds And Acts of God (1995 BBC Wales and winner of a Bafta Cymru). Ingham lives in Wales where she lectures and researches part-time on the Photographic Arts & Journalism courses at Swansea Institute of Higher Education. She has recectly completed a research MPhil and accompanying publication into representations of death and the body in contemporary cultural practice.
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