About Jean Napier MA

The Cadfan Way


St Cadfan Way – a Pilgrimage Route  – A Historical Journey – I have documented a coastal route from Tywyn to Bardsey Island where St Cadfan founded a Christian settlement and visited other amazing historical sites on the way – so watch this space – hope to be published by the end of November 2022!

Bardsey – Now and Then  incorporates beautiful images of the island with text about the history and the people who currently live there today.  There are only 4 inhabitants all year – the farmer and his wife and the Island Manager and their partner.  The book also incorporates extracts from the last schoolmistress’s daughter’s diary from the 1920s and reminiscences of Tomos of Enlli who was born on Bardsey in the late 1800s ..

Bardsey /Ynys Enlli Book

“Rhinogydd – Ancient Routes and Old Roads”  is about the drovers roads, stagecoach routes and gold mines of this very special part of Snowdonia is now available.  I spent hours and hours in archives throughout Wales seeking the historical background.  The archivists were all being extremely helpful!!   Published by Carreg Gwalch in November 2017, now well into its second print run!.

Rhinogydd Book


Back Cover of Rhinogydd Book


I have a Distinction for my Masters in Fine Art (Photographic Studies) from the University of Art, Aberystwyth for my project on the Old Ways of Life and Living in Snowdonia.

Receiving my Masters Certificate!

Receiving my Masters Certificate!

I have lived in the magnificent Snowdonia National Park for over 30 years and it is the main inspiration for my work. The huge variety of landscapes within the Park vary from wild coasts, beautiful beaches, mountainous areas, marshes and green valleys.  Another aspect of this part of North Wales is the remnants left by man’s inhabitance that date back thousands of years. The industrial past has also left its marks on the land and the remains of slate quarries and gold and manganese mines litter the area.  The remote ruined farms scattered throughout depict the passing of a life dependent upon cattle and sheep in the upland areas; three Scots Pines mark the places where the drovers stayed overnight on their way to sell their beasts in London.  This was part of my Masters project.

Drovers Overnight Stopping Place - Blaen-y-Cae

Drovers Overnight Stopping Place – Blaen-y-Cae

I have a large selection of my images in my GALLERIES page.

I have been running residencies, teaching photography and a variety of art workshops for over 25 years to people of all ages and abilities and run a number of different digital photography workshops in North and Mid Wales – please visit my  WORKSHOPS  page for full details of venues and dates and information on 1-to-1 tuition.

Previously an engineer for Ford Motor Company, I undertook a BA Honours in Photography from 1991 to 1993 while I worked for the Outward Bound Trust based in Aberdyfi as an Instructor during that time.   This enabled me to explore the Park in great detail over a number of years and inspired me to photograph aspects of it in more detail.

Barracks at Cefn Coch Gold Mine - North Wales

Barracks at Cefn Coch Gold Mine – North Wales

I have now had six photography books on North Wales published; three of the books follow six  Snowdonia  rivers from source to sea and one is about the slate industry – details of my books are on the  BOOKS  page.  Each of the rivers books took more than three years to photograph; walking the rivers and exploring the land along the banks, interviewing farmers and researching the ancient history and industrial past.

Old Slate Boundary Fence

For latest info on my projects and EXHIBITIONS please visit my NEWS page.

Mawddach Estuary near Barmouth

Mawddach Estuary near Barmouth