DSB in portrait exhibiton

Talking Pictures of Welsh talent in portrait exhibition.

Dame Shirley Bassey grew up in nearby Tiger Bay.

Photographs of creative people inspired by Wales will be unveiled in a new exhibition at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

Talking Pictures is the brain child of celebrity photographer Cambridge Jones, and the Welsh Assembly Government.

Jones was born in Llanidloes and says he has always wanted to give something back to Wales.

The exhibition will show from Tuesday 7 September until 25 October and then tour internationally.

                                                     See  more photos on the BBC Wales Arts website

Cambridge Jones found success with an exhibition in 2004 called Face The Music, which featured one hundred famous faces and their favourite sound tracks.

He has gone from strength to strength and can count four British Prime Ministers, the Queen, Al Pacino, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Ioan Gruffudd amongst his long list of clients.

“Since Face The Music, I have always had it in my mind to do something similar for Wales”, he said.

“For me it is about having pride in something which sometimes encounters prejudice.

“I have encountered prejudice myself – the usual jokes about Welsh people. The first one is funny, but after the fourth or fifth it gets wearing”.

After moving to America, Jones was spotted by Catrin Brace, employed by the Welsh Assembly Government to promote Wales and Welsh talent in the United States and beyond.

Together, Brace and Jones came up with the idea of taking portraits of creative people who are connected to Wales in some way.

The photographs are accompanied by interview clips of the subjects talking about who most inspired them.

Jones himself was greatly influenced by David Bailey, and is known for capturing his subjects as people, not as celebrities.

“I never research my subjects. I meet them and start a conversation as if I’d just met them on the bus”, he said.

“That way the conversation is very real. I haven’t elevated them, and we can work together as equals.”

Jones also doesn’t plan his shoots. In the case of Robert Plant’s portrait, they agreed to meet in a village in Worcestershire.

Whilst driving there Jones spotted a rusty barn, and decided to do the shoot there.

Talking Heads features some obvious choices – Bryn Terfel, Dame Shirley Bassey, Cerys Matthews, Matthew Rhys, Ioan Gruffudd and Michael Sheen to name but a few, but Brace and Jones have gone out of their way to include a few surprises.

“I want people to leave the exhibition with a sense of awe at the amazing talent that comes out of this small country”, said Jones.

“There is a value and a currency to Wales, and that’s what I want to show”.

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