A TRIBUTE TO RON DAVIES OBE, FDPS, ARPS, Hon Fellow SDUC
Ron was born in Aberaeron on the 17th December 1921. His love for photography started whilst working for a local chemist as an errand boy, aged ten. Mr Thomas taught him to develop and print and gave him his first Box Brownie.
His photographic career started whilst serving in the RAF in WW2 when he was seconded to a photographic unit in India and the Far East. After demob he came home to Aberaeron and was just starting his photographic business when, in 1950, he was paralysed in a motor cycle accident. During his two and a half years in hospital he took up the cudgels again and became the hospital medical photographer. On his return he restarted the business working the rest of his life from a wheelchair. Initially working as a social photographer he graduated into press work for the local papers, the Western Mail, the BBC and Fleet Street then additionally as a cine cameraman for ITV in Wales.
He took a keen interest in photographic education and taught at various art schools as well as at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. He was the driving force behind the the first mobile darkroom for disabled people, famously saying ” Ability isn’t the problem. Mobility is.”
The National Eisteddfod of Wales honoured him in 1986 with green robed Order of Ovates in the Gorsedd of Bards and further honoured him in 2002 with the white robed Order of Druids. There was another accolade in 2003 when he was honoured with an OBE for services to photography.
Aberystwyth Arts Centre lost a great friend when Ron passed away at the end of October last year and we are pleased and grateful to Ron’s family for allowing us to show some of his work.