Photographer revisits road trip in pictures
WHEN Dan Wood was a young boy he would travel along part of the Bwlch Mountain Pass with his mum to visit relatives.
Sitting in the front seat of the red car, it was Dan’s “first taste of a road trip” and one that he recalls vividly. Now, more than 35 years later, Dan has captured a series of photographs that depict the area.
Dan said he can “recall almost every inch of the journey” he made as a child with his mother Gail along the mountain pass which connects the Rhondda Valley and Bridgend. He said: “I’d sit in the front seat of my mother’s little red car utterly absorbed and fascinated, looking out of the window at the forests, terraced houses and falling rock signs.”
Now 43, Dan said he makes the journey these days with his young daughter to visit relatives who still live in the area.
Recalling the journey when he was younger, Dan said: “The journey seemed to take forever, but in reallife time we were only ever around 30 minutes from home.”
The name of the project comes from the Bwlchy-Clawdd (Gap in the Hedge) 450m-long mountain pass between the two towns. The pass was built in 1928 and offered a lifeline to isolated valley communities.
Dan said the process of the project was often “bittersweet”.
He said: “I definitely feel nostalgic looking at the images, and I’m satisfied that I did the place justice.
“I didn’t want it to look grim, but I didn’t want to take it out of context. I wanted it to be as honest as possible.”
An exhibition of the project, entitled Gap in the Hedge, will run from September 6-15 at the Workers’ Gallery in Ynyshir. A book featuring the work, published by Another Place Press, can be purchased online.
Megan, the Bwlch Marina, Nantymoel Tony, Cwmparc Nantymoel Derek and Qualvero, Cwmparc Cwmparc, as part of the Gap in the Hedge project by Dan Wood Nantymoel Rudi and Measles, the Bwlch
Bridgend photographer Dan Wood