Three photographs of Anglesey RNLI crew and lifeboat stations, made by Jack Lowe, have been added to the existing collection held at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.
In January 2017, the National Library of Wales acquired twenty of Jack’s limited edition prints of Aberystwyth, Angle, New Quay, St David’s and Tenby to be preserved in the National Collection of Welsh Photographs. In further cause for celebration, the library then launched a year-long exhibition of those twenty prints to celebrate the ‘Year of the Sea’ in 2018.
The National Library of Wales has recently selected six more photographs of Moelfre, Conwy and Trearddur Bay Lifeboat Stations to add to their existing collection of Welsh Photographs. The six photographs of Welsh RNLI Lifeboat Stations that were selected include three from Conwy, two from Moelfre and one from Trearddur Bay.
The National Library of Wales has selected to preserve a photograph of Moelfre’s crew in front of the lifeboat station, as well as a dramatic shot of the station's slipway. Trearddur Bay’s image shows the lifeboat crew with their tractors and boats, with the bay as a distinctive backdrop.
The limited edition prints will be housed within the National Collection of Welsh Photographs, which includes over 950,000 photographs connected to Wales. The collection ranges from works by pioneering photographers from the earliest days of photography to portfolios by contemporary practitioners of the art. It is a huge compliment to both Jack Lowe and the RNLI that these photographs are coveted enough to be preserved in the prestigious Collection of Welsh Photographs.
Alan Owen, Coxswain at Moelfre said:
'We are delighted that Jack’s work is getting the recognition it deserves. And it’s great that our station's photographs will be preserved in the Welsh Collection for years to come.'
Aubrey Diggle, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Trearddur Bay said:
'We are honoured to be part of the Lifeboat Station Project, and it's great news that the photos have been picked up by the National Library of Wales. Being included in the Welsh Collection is a landmark moment for both the RNLI and Jack Lowe.'
Jack Lowe began the Lifeboat Station Project in January 2015, and it plans to visit all 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland, with the project predicted to end in 2022. The photographs are created using a method called Wet Plate Collodion, which is a Victorian process that captures striking images on glass. Jack travels in a decommissioned ambulance called Neena, which he has converted into a mobile darkroom that allows him to create his art on the go.
At the end of the Lifeboat Station Project, Jack will have created the first complete photographic record of every RNLI lifeboat crew and will have enormous historic significance. Jack hopes to showcase the photographs in an exhibition and a book, which will help to raise vital funds for the RNLI and is an opportunity for Jack’s unique works of art to be viewed by the public.
You can follow Jack's journey and find regular updates and announcements on his website:
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.