Newport seems to be undergoing perpetual regeneration, architecturally, economically, in sport, religion, the arts and in its population. Newportrait is a collection of remarkable photographs which captures both the changing face of the city, and what endures. It is Newport past, Newport disappeared, new Newport and Newport in the making, right down to the riverside developments and the new university campus. It is also the city as John Briggs sees it, and consequently as it has never been seen before. He says, "The urge to document change, to guarantee memory of the past and, not least, the affinity I feel for Newport's inhabitants as they live in these times of change, inspire the photographs in this collection. Like all Newportonians who care about their city, I go about it in a spirit of hope for its future. There is no doubt that the city has a very different face now. There is no doubt that it's time for a new portrait, which provides a perspective on where Newport is now, where it is going and where it has been."
John Briggs was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He came to study in Wales in the 1960s and soon began photographing the streets of Cardiff. On qualifying as a teacher he moved to Newport, where he has lived and worked for thirty-five years. Taken in Time, a book of his photographs of Cardiff Docklands and the Bay, is also published by Seren.