Fountain - Great Urinals of the Valleys by Jon Pountney (Collated Observations 23)
Collated Observations is a series of regular photozines showcasing aspects of modern life through the lens of a different UK-based photographer each issue.
Jon Pountney is an artist based in South Wales. He is known for his photography, but also works in a number of mediums, primarily painting. The themes of his work are grounded in ideas of place and community, and exploring why people feel linked or attracted to land or spaces. He loves working within communities to uncover and reinterpret stories, building unique narratives of place.
Jon has exhibited with National Library of Wales, The Senedd, Wales Millennium Centre, Ffotogallery, Chapter, Royal West of England Academy, Oriel Colwyn, and gallery TEN. Clients include National Museum of Wales, Age Cymru, BBC, Common Wealth, Iris Prize, Peak Cymru, and Cadw.
Fountain - Great Urinals of the Valleys
"What started as an exercise in ‘taking the piss’- photographing an outdoor urinal in beautiful evening sun at Quakers Yard in South Wales, soon (in the way that creative projects often do) mutated into a more thoughtful observation of these almost totally overlooked street furniture remnants. Ironically bricked up, and thus removed from its sole purpose of opportunistic relief, it had become little more than a slightly surreal pseudo Art Deco pavement decoration. It (as passers-by double-took at me photographing a bricked up public lav) made me ponder the contemporary problem of public toilet provision and look at the urinal as a greater symbol of something we used to be able to do- provide public lavatories.
And then, as I travelled the Valleys of South Wales, I noticed quite how many of these strangely mute and utilitarian objects there are- positioned along the invisible chorographical web of routes known and used by (male) workers heading to and from mines and works and factories at the crack of dawn or dead of night. There used to be a system; there used to be a provision; yes, modern toilets are
more expensive with needs for accessibility- but the feeling is that we used to take pride in providing public municipal amenities of all kinds, and that modern life is somehow about how we as a society can’t afford these things anymore. Which is, of course, an ideological decision rather than a financial one. "
Ltd run of 100 hand numbered copies.
40 pages cover-to-cover, perfect bound.
Digitally printed on 170gsm silk paper, 300 gsm cover with matt laminate.