'Volution' is my response to the 2019 Ffotogallery and Welsh Assembly commission ‘Many Voices, One Nation’. 6 artists were selected to produce a body of work, using photography and lens-based media, to mark the first 20 year of devolution in Wales. The book I created is a semi-fictional account of an off-road bicycle journey from the historical Machynlleth Senedd, briefly established by Owain Glyndwr in the early 1400s, to the present day Senedd in Cardiff.
Ideas and material for the story were created along the route; fully engaged in the physical environment and being open to chance encounters. The resulting narrative, that blends the real with the imagined, is a combination of images and text. A strange, but never identified, cyclist also leaves Machynlleth at the same time but always seems to be one step ahead during the journey.
This modern, secular pilgrimage serves as a reminder that there was a Senedd in Wales' past, as well as being a celebration of Wales' democratic history and progress. The Active Travel Act passed by the Senedd in 2013 was heralded as a world's first legislation promoting walking and cycling. Off-road cycling in Wales has both an interesting history and a positive future, with recent proposals by the Welsh government to further increase public access to the countryside.
As a work of imaginative graphic art, as opposed to a more straightforward documentation, Volution aims to expose new audiences to off-road cycling and the work of the Senedd.
83 copies of the book were printed, one for each mile between Machynlleth and Cardiff. The book is A5 in size containing around 60 B&W images, 3000 words and photo montages. The theme of revolution is graphically expressed in many of the images and in the spiral binding. All the photographs were taken during May, June & July 2019.
Copies of the book were sent to the people I met during the journey between Machynlleth and Cardiff which he completed on his bike, mostly off-road, during several separate journeys.