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Views of life in Wales... in the Alaskan wilds; Far-travelled photographer Ed struck by remote find.

Byline: OWEN HUGHES

A SNAPPER from Anglesey who was fed up with photographing the Welsh rode and flew 6,000 miles to take pictures... of Wales.

Adventurous Ed Gold had been in New York after taking part in the Smithsonian Festival in Washington DC to promote Welsh culture with his documentary work on the Welsh-descended people in Patagonia.

But Ed was left disillusioned by the Welsh Assembly's lack of interest in his work and says he was frozen out of the event.

After initially travelling to New York he then set off on a mammoth ride on his trike to reach the most westerly point of mainland USA.

After travelling 500 miles a day for 12 days on his trike and then taking a short plane trip he arrived at the end point, Wales, a remote village of 150 people on the westerly tip of Alaska.

Ed was so struck by the irony he set about capturing life in the freezing outpost of America. He has now published a photographic book, Wales Alaska, focused on the people of the town.

Ed, 40, said: "With sadness I decided to stop my documentation of Wales and her people from around the world and chose instead to motorcycle to the most westerly point of the USA.

"I rode my bike 6,000 miles in 12 days, covering 500 miles a day. I had to fly the last leg as the nearest road stops 400 miles away from the tip.

"With a great deal of irony I discovered this place was called Wales and this book is the result."

It is understood the village was named by American missionaries in the 19th century. It later became an important whaling centre with a population of more than 500.

Its population and economy was decimated by the Spanish influenza epidemic from 1918 to 1919 and now stands at around 150 people who live without running water and toilets.

Ed spent a month there living with the villagers, turning his lens on their lives.

He has previously toured on his trike around South America - documenting the lives of the descendents of the Welsh colonists.

He lived among the local community in Gaiman, Patagonia, and also travelled to far flung villages with Welsh connections and photographed the people in their homes, at work and in their free time. He then released the 232-page book Lluniau Cymry Patagonia.

Before then he captured rural communities on Anglesey and travelled the length and breadth of Wales on his trike to take pictures - camping out in a tent.

owen.hughes@dailypost.co.uk

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Villagers in the remote settlement of Wales, Alaska (above and below) pictured by much-travelled photographer Ed Gold (left)
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 9, 2009
Words:451
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