Tom Wood (photographer)

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Thomas "Tom" Wood (born Ireland, 14 January 1951) is a photographer living and working in Britain. He is both a street photographer and landscape photographer, best known for his street photography around Merseyside (1978–2001). His work has been published in five books, been widely shown in solo exhibitions and received awards.


Born in Ireland, Wood moved to North Wales in 2003. He currently works part-time as a lecturer in photography at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru in North Wales.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]


Although Wood photographed working class Liverpool exclusively for many years, his primary interest is not documentary.[3] Trained as a painter at the conceptually orientated Leicester Polytechnic from 1973–76, his first exploration of lens-based media was through extensive viewing of experimental films. His photography has explored a "multiplicity of formally divergent themes and quotations";[4] his approach "much more fluid than the current conventions of post-Conceptual photography or photojournalism dictate".[5] He has worked with colour negative film continuously since 1976, while often using both black and white and colour in different locations.[citation needed]

Books of photographs[edit]

The pictures in Wood's first book, Looking For Love (1989), were made between 1982 and 1985, and show the infamous Chelsea Reach nightclub. This was followed by the highly acclaimed All Zones Off Peak (1998), with pictures from 18 years of riding the buses of Liverpool during his 1978 to 1996 'bus odyssey' – the images selected from 100,000 negatives. The book People followed this in 1999, and the major retrospective book Photie Man[6] made in collaboration with Irish artist Padraig Timoney, was published in 2005.

His work is included in the revised edition of Bystander: the History of Street Photography (2001)[7] and All Zones Off Peak is described in The Photo Book: A History vol. 2[8] (2006).


Wood has worked with video on a daily basis since 1988, filming family life.[citation needed]

Landscape photography[edit]

Wood has made landscape photographs since the 1970s in the west of Ireland, North Wales and Merseyside.[9] These were exhibited for the first time in 2014.[10]



  • Looking for Love. Manchester: Cornerhouse, 1989
  • All Zones off Peak. Stockport: Dewi Lewis Publishing, 1998
  • People. Wienand Verlag, Cologne, Germany, 1999
  • Bus Odyssey. Hajte Cantz, Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 2001
  • Not Only Female…. Exhib. Cat, Schaden, Cologne, Germany, 2004
  • Photie Man. Göttingen: Steidl Verlag, 2005
  • Men and Women. Göttingen: Steidl, 2012[3]

Exhibition catalogues[edit]

  • Tom Wood. Galerie im Buergerhaus Neunkirchen/Saar, Germany, 2000


  • What do Artists do all Day. BBC, 2014



Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 1996
  • 1998
    • Museum of Modern Art, Oxford
    • Galerie F.M. Schwartz/Photokina, Cologne
  • 1999
    • Galerie Albrecht, Munich
    • Gallery of Photography, Dublin
  • 2000
    • Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, NY
    • Galerie im Buergerhaus, Neunkirchen/Saar
    • Kunstverein, Ulm, Germany
  • 2001 Suermondt-Ludwig Museum, Aachen, Germany
  • 2002
    • Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, NY
    • Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel, Germany
    • Stadtische Galerie, Wolfsburg
    • Kunsthalle, Wilhelmshaven
  • 2003 C/O, Berlin, Germany
  • 2004
    • Kunsthalle, Bremen, Germany
    • Centre de la Photographie, Geneva
    • Le Centre Cultural Suisse, Paris (Paris Photo)
  • 2005
  • 2006 The Approach, London
  • 2012 The Photographers' Gallery, London[3]
  • 2013 Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2014 Landscapes, Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno, Wales. Curated by Mark Durden.[10]

Selected group exhibitions[edit]

  • 1994 Street Photography, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
  • 1996
  • 1999 Internationale Fototage, Herten, Germany
  • 2000 Les Photographies Collectionnees par agnes b, Centre National de la Photographie, Paris
  • 2001 The Sidewalk Never Ends, Art Institute of Chicago, USA
  • 2002
    • Becks Futures, ICA, London
    • Zipp, Kassler Kunstverein, Kassel
  • 2003
    • Garry Winogrand and Tom Wood, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne
    • We go round and round…, COMME CA Gallery, New York
    • Sad Beautiful Life, C/O Berlin, Germany
    • L’amour Toujours, galerieXprssns, Hamburg
  • 2004
    • Wirklich Wahr! Realitatsvesprechen von Fotographien, Ruhrlandmuseum, Essen
    • Ruestrassen; Schrumpfende Stadte, Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
    • Sammlung Kunne, Kunsthalle, Bremen, Germany
    • Relating To Photography, FFi – Fotografie Forum International, Frankfurt
    • Street Life, Rotonda Galerie, Cologne
    • Independents 04, Liverpool Biennial, UK
    • Native Land
      • Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno
      • Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
  • 2005 24 x 36, Leica Gallery, New York
  • 2006
    • HyperDesign, Shanghai Biennale, China
    • Closed Eyes, Museum for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark
    • Shrinking Cities, Pratt Manhattan Gallery/Van Alen Institute, New York
    • People and Places, Museum of Modern Art, New York
    • La Boum II, Sies+ Hoke Galerie, Dusseldof
  • 2007
    • How We Are: Photographing Britain, Tate Britain, London
    • Centre of the Creative Universe, Liverpool and the Avant-Garde, Tate Gallery Liverpool
    • On View, Photo London, Old Billingsgate, London
  • 2008
    • ParrWorld, Haus der Kunst, Munich
    • Baby, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam
  • 2012: Third Floor Gallery, Cardiff, with Martin Parr

Works in public collections[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Biscuit Tin Photo Archive". Oriel Mostyn. Retrieved 15 March 2014. Wood, who currently lives in North Wales and lectures at Coleg Llandrillo in Rhos-on-Sea, is well known for his photographs of the people of Liverpool and Merseyside, and has exhibited worldwide. This new exhibition ‘Landscapes’ however shows previously unseen images from over forty years of work responding to his surroundings in North Wales, Merseyside and the West of Ireland. 
  2. ^ "Tom Wood". Lens Culture. Retrieved 15 March 2014. Currently working part time as a lecturer in photography at Coleg Llandrillo in north Wales. 
  3. ^ a b c Coomes, Phil (3 October 2012). "Tom Wood's men and women". BBC News. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Timoney, Padraig (January 1999). "Tom Wood". Frieze Magazine (44). Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  5. ^ Schwabsky, Barry (December 2000). "Tom Wood – Brief Article". Art Forum. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  6. ^ Grant, Ken. "foto8 Reviews: Photie Man". Retrieved 30 April 2009. 
  7. ^ Meyerowitz, Joel; Westerbeck , Colin (16 November 1994). Bystander: A History Of Street Photography. Bulfinch. ISBN 978-0-8212-1755-9. 
  8. ^ Parr, Martin; Badger, Gerry (7 October 2006). The Photobook: A History – Volume 2. Phaidon Press. ISBN 978-0-7148-4433-6. 
  9. ^ "What Do Artists Do All Day?, Tom Wood". BBC. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Tom Wood - Landscapes". Oriel Mostyn. Retrieved 15 March 2014. Tom Wood – Landscapes, curated by Mark Durden, presents, for the first time, a selection of nearly 100 of Wood’s extensive and varied pictures made in response to the West of Ireland, Merseyside and North Wales. ... previously unseen and unpublished photographic works spanning forty years 

External links[edit]