James Rock is a photographer and writer using images and words to
create visual narratives. He now lives in Hay on Wye and feels he has
finally discovered his home here.
James is a nomad. He has lived and worked in many locations around
the world. On his travels he observes people and places and their
interactions, seeking where social anthropology and ethnography meet
everyday events. He has a particular interest in places with a literary
background and history, and he likes to link the visual image with the
After recently returning to work in monochrome with film equipment
he rediscovered a medium that brings a discipline to the photographers
art. He now travels light with a Leica rangefinder camera in true
reportage style to carefully convey his storyline.
After becoming an habitual visitor to both the 'Hay Festival' and 'How
the Light Gets In' for the last fifteen years he began to reflect and
question why so many people, like himself, return year after year? The
artists at the festivals are always well documented in the media, but he
wanted to photograph the people at play during their annual gathering
as a way to explore their experience. He discovered a ‘Tribe’ of likeminded
people, with a set of shared values and behaviours — inquisitive,
liberal, open-minded, politically aware, slightly bohemian, culture
loving, and creative. He discovered that for them a literary festival is
not necessarily about books, but a place where they come to be inspired
via exploring new ideas, sharing them, holding conversations, meeting
old friends and making new ones… as well as buying books….