Beneath the surface of pictures lie the extensive networks of relationships and associations that tie us to them, sometimes in extraordinary ways. In pictures the past lives, and forms the basis of who we will become. The moments at which we come to understand something of ourselves and our place in the world are often anchored in images literary, musical and visual. Through fifteen pictures Peter Lord describes the evolution of his own sense of self, in childhood just after the Second World War, at art college in the 1960s, through the tension between incomers and local people in Wales in the 1970s and 80s, and finally through his exploration of the place they have had in the lives of the artists who created them, their patrons and publics. Writing about the meaning of pictures in their social and political context, Peter Lord was centrally involved in the establishment of the field in Wales in the 1980s, when the prevailing conventional wisdom regarded the nation as being largely devoid of a visual culture. Currently he holds posts researching and lecturing on visual culture at Swansea University.