The Living Valley

Peak/Copa at Abergavenny Food Festival

Photographer Jon Pountney, based near Cardiff, was selected for our Horsebox Studio Commission at this year’s Abergavenny Food Festival.

Using archive photography as a starting point Jon has been discovering more about the smallholdings and farms, past and present, of rural Monmouthshire.

With a particular focus on the Llanthony Valley, Jon has created an exhibition of new photographic work alongside archive images from the personal collection of Edith James of Treveddw Farm and from the Llanthony History Society.

The exhibition can be seen in the Horsebox Studio, situated in the grounds of Abergavenny Castle during the festival weekend on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th September, 9:30am-5pm. 

Come and share your food memories at the Horsebox with writer Emma Beynon and poet Jonathan Edwards, who will be delivering creative writing workshops for all ages.


About Jon Pountney:

‘I first picked up a ‘real’ camera in 1995, a present for my 17th birthday from my Nan. From this moment I began my creative journey as a photographer and artist, exploring photography, painting and drawing at college and university. Since leaving education, I have worked on a series of self-initiated and collaborative projects, which have ranged from a residency in a castle to a photography documentary commissioned and shown by the BBC.
My work is the result of years of seeing and thinking about photography and my place within it as an artist. My aesthetic as a photographer is very simple and straightforward: try to capture interesting places and moments in time and share with others. I make art to communicate my sense of wonder, and the themes in my work are influenced by my interest in people, place and history. Not merely a spectator, I am most often a member of the communities who form my practice. I am driven by storytelling through imagery, in still or moving image, and I believe my familiarity with my subjects helps to vitalise the work by lending credibility and an empathetic interpretation.’


About Abergavenny Food Festival:

Over the last 18 years, Abergavenny Food Festival has grown to become the largest, longest running food festival in Wales. The event enjoys an exceptional reputation as a place for chefs, food businesses, journalists, farmers and food producers to come together. The Festival prides itself on transforming the way people think about food; challenging and promoting new ideas, pushing the boundaries of current thinking and encouraging people to look differently at where their food comes from. Abergavenny Food Festival was created in 1999 by two local farmers in response to the BSE crisis and the resulting lack of consumer confidence in British produce. With the outbreak of Foot and Mouth in 2001, the difficulties worsened for farmers and pushed the Festival forward in terms of showcasing the wonderful food on offer locally and the passion of the people who produce it. Each year the Festival attracts more than 30,000 visitors to Abergavenny, generating an estimated £4 million impact for the local economy.


The Horsebox Studio is a creative mobile space which takes Peak projects on the road. Supported by the Brecon Beacons Trust.


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