The ex-mining town of Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales has somewhat, in the narrow-eyes of media focus, become synonymous with decay - a casualty of a cruel post-Thatcherite world lumped in with other former manufacturing towns.

What good photography has often succeeded in is to break down stereotypes and challenge wider-enforced narratives via various methodologies; and this project Merthyr Rising by photographer Tom Johnson alongside stylist (and Merthyr native) Charlotte James inhabits this description wholly. James used friends and family within the town alongside subjects sourced via social media and even street castings, and styled them; incorporating a fashion element to help highlight a positivity as part of the photographic narrative that Johnson asserts so well.

The result marries the contrasting worlds of documentary and fashion photography, using the differing skill-set of the two collaborators rather astutely for beautiful, honest, endearing, and contextually satisfying results.

Merthyr Rising has its Private View on December 9th, with the exhibition open to the public from 10th-13th December at Box Studio in Shoreditch, London.

 photo TJ-INT-9_zpsuu8ugzqk.jpg  photo MerthyrResize3_zpskjmh1v6v.jpg  photo TJ-INT-6_zps2vxowlls.jpg