Tom Wood (Irish, b. 1951) 

Born in Ireland, Tom Wood lived in Liverpool for more than twenty years before moving to north Wales where he now resides. Originally trained as a painter, Wood has photographed the communities and the streets where he has lived for forty years.

Hugely respected in the photography world, his work is a unique record of British working class life and in recent years he has gained increasing recognition. His work has been widely exhibited and has been shown at the Institute of Photography, New York, The Photographers’ Gallery, London and at the Foam Museum in Amsterdam amongst numerous others. A major retrospective of his work was held at the National Media Museum in Bradford in 2013.

Several books of his work have been published including Looking For Love (1989), pictures of patrons of the Chelsea Reach nightclub in Merseyside made between 1982 and 1985 and All Zones Off Peak (1998), photographs taken on his daily travels over nearly two decades from 1978-1996.

The pictures from Wood’s bus series capture the streets of Liverpool and its inhabitants. Some images record small interactions between friends or family and the casual body language of those unaware they are being observed. Some subjects confront the photographer’s eye directly, other people are lost in the tedium of the daily commute and their own thoughts. Often photographed through a bus window, some pictures move towards abstraction – people and the streets of the city fragmented through the multi-layered planes of image, reflection and rain-splattered glass.

Wood has said of his work: "I was making pictures, with people that allowed me to photograph them…I was just going out and making pictures every day on loads of things all at once and never finished anything. Lots of the projects I didn't want to finish or to put in to the world at that time."

Although sometimes described as documentary in their sensibility, Wood resists this definition: "When the stuff is too journalistic and documentary then it is journalism, if it is too conceptual and arty then that is another thing, but where the two meet - that is interesting…I am not trying to document anything, I am asking a question.”

Tom Wood’s work is held in a number of public collections including The International Centre of Photography, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, The National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.