16 APRIL — 11 JUNE 2022


Surface Exposure is a photographic collaboration between three third year BA Photography students from Coleg Gwent in Crosskeys.

In their work, Jessica Jackson, Sam Watson and Andrew Breading are looking at what lies on the surface, rather than the more usual, what lies beneath.

With projects that explore emotions, concrete, and the Rymney River, Surface Exposure explores pressure, material and water. These projects will ultimately form part of each artists’ Final Major Project for their degree.

Jessica Jackson, from Cwmcarn, looks at her emotions over the last year, from caring for her daughter during multiple lockdowns, becoming engaged and trying to become pregnant. It uses photography and poetry to give a unique, and very personal view, of her “Surface Pressure”.

Sam Watson, from Bargoed, takes a new view of the Rhymney River from its source on the edge of the Brecon Beacons to its mouth on the Bristol Channel in Cardiff. The splendour and beauty, along with the very industrial areas that the river runs through gives a unique look through “Surface Water”.

Andrew Breading, from Porthcawl, takes an unusual look at concrete from a brand-new pour in Pyle to the Glyndwr Car Park in Cwmbran. He is asking you to look at the concrete and try to find the beauty in it, rather than treating it as a utilitarian, ugly, thing. “Surface Material” will hopefully give you something think about on your way back to the car park.


Surface Water: Afon Rhymni – Samantha Watson

“Many of my childhood adventures involve playing in and around the River ‘Rum’. I lived right between the main river and an estuary and remember many occasions of coming home wet because I’d either slipped trying to get across to the other side, or I’d actually spent the warm summer days splashing around in its shallower areas. I remember walks with neighbourhood friends, as we went to explore how long it would go on for. 30 years later I would complete my childhood adventure of finding how long the River Rhymney actually was.”

From the slopes of Cefn yr Ystraf, through the old coal mining fields, to the mouth at the River Severn estuary. These images follow the length and breadth of the River Rhymney.

Samantha started her photography career as a photography assistant and second shooter at weddings. It was while studying for her degree, she found a passion for project photography.


Surface Material – Andrew Breading

I don’t like pretty things. Well, I do, of course, but I don’t like to photograph them.

I find beauty in the mundane and ordinary, the overlooked and covered up. Surface Material is an exhibit made up of the various surface textures of concrete where, if you look at them carefully, the beauty shines through.
I’ve taken these pictures at several locations in South Wales, including the brand-new recycling centre in Pyle, the Glyndwr car park here in Cwmbran and at a concrete recycling centre.

Once you’ve looked at my pictures, I am hoping that you’ll notice the shapes, shadows, and textures that concrete, the multipurpose material that surrounds us, gives to our environment and how it help to enhance our view.


Surface Pressure – Jessica Jackson

This project is something completely new to me. I have combined two of my lifelong loves, poetry and photography, to help tell the story of my life in my twenties. I have been married, divorced and became a mother during this time period, not to mention numerous career changes. It’s a lot looking back now in my 30’s to process and this has been a surprisingly cathartic way of reflecting.

These images are made using different photographic styles and processes but each one has so much feeling and personal memory behind it. As a photographer, I like to think of myself as capturing moments and preserving them in time for people to look at and reflect. This project was something different, I’m almost going back in time and revisiting a memory and imparting how that impacted me not just then but now too.

The overall title of this project is to show how things on the surface of our lives impact us in our journeys.