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Creating Sanctuary

Nigel Pugh is a Cardiff-based photographer who primarily works within environmental and social themes. He is particularly interested in the actions and stories of individuals in relation to their environment and communities. Creating Sanctuary is a series of new photographic portraits and texts documenting volunteers working with refugees across Wales.

Within this project, Nigel identifies human commonalities of purpose, work, security of home, family, friends, community, creativity, camaraderie, healing, sharing loss and grief. The subjects of Nigel's work share the commonality of volunteering their time to working with refugees. 

Refugees, whoever they are and regardless of where they are from, have had their basic human requirements wholly or partly removed. Creating Sanctuary recognises and illustrates the core human requirements that volunteers, or the 'sanctuary makers' are assisting to recreate and reinstate.

The exhibition is being displayed to coincide with Volunteers' Week and Refugee Week and Nigel's hope is that the project will encourage others to accept and assist in the integration of refugees in Wales, and lead to increased voluntary action.

"I have held a teenage girl while she cried for her mother who she will probably never see again and heard women speak in hushed tones of their past that they struggle to share even with women who suffered the same. These people are just people, alone in a new place, they are professionals, students, mothers, daughters, sons, fathers."

Catrin The Birth Partner Project  
Barry & Cardiff, South Wales.