I sit here on a muggy August evening in central Scotland in amongst a busy personal period - I seem to have been saying this for years - searching for a little break on the horizon. What I have found is the interlude of a book by Dan Wood that I pre-ordered a number of months ago now before receiving it recently. I thought I would write a few words down on this blog/journal thing that I don't update enough.
I've never met Dan. However he seems like someone I would love to live closer to. As he lives in south Wales, I rely on his engagement over social media to maintain conversation and, I suppose along side others, a friendship. What does shine through from his posts and conversation is someone that is genuine and true to himself and his upbringing. However none of this shines more brightly than how it does through his photographs.
Over the last 3 years Dan has been on a photographic journey over a route that he physically took frequently as a child. The Bwlch-y-Clawdd is a 25 mile road built 90 years ago which connects a number of valley towns to the larger town of Bridgend. Dan explores the natural landscape that is intertwined with small mining towns that are last to see economic growth that may be experienced elsewhere in the country. This somewhat harsh urban landscape is something that is explored with a delicate touch rather than being overly bleak. This sensitivity of the subject matter is seen throughout and has been a mainstay theme from the very start. What also shines through from the photographs is the sheer beauty of the place that surrounds the residents and this vital route.
Along with the photographs themselves, it has to be noted how strong the final production piece is. The book is a 132 pp hard back production by Iain Sarjeant at Another Place Press. This is their first venture into hard back after a hugely successful run at small soft back publications. It's no coincidence that Dan's work was chosen as the entry book into a new era for the small production company from the Scottish Highlands. Coupled with the expert eye of Greg at Kozu Books near Bath, England, the final piece is a joy to physically hold and devour.
After following the project from its infancy, through the journey of the released work and pre-order stage, the whole thing in front of my own eyes is everything that I hoped it would be.
To get your own copy, please visit here: www.danwoodphoto.com
or, alternatively, you can visit here: