'NTLEMEN' by Tom Wood
'Tom Wood: Photographs 1973-2013' is a new exhibition, and Wood’s first full UK retrospective, opening at the National Media Museum, Bradford, on 8 March 2013.
Born in Ireland in 1951, Tom Wood has taken photographs almost every day over the last 40 years. The resulting bodies of work now form the basis for this new show.
The retrospective features116 photographs and concentrates on Wood’s photographs of people, made mainly in Liverpool and Merseyside, on the streets, in pubs and clubs, markets, workplaces, parks and football grounds, images of strangers, mixed with neighbours, family and friends.
Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs at the National Media Museum has also acquired 80 of Wood’s prints for the National Photography Collection, held and cared for by the National Media Museum. It is the largest single acquisition of Wood’s work, and one of the Museum’s largest single acquisitions from a living photographer. The selection includes photographs that have not been exhibited or published before.
Hobson said: “Tom Wood is a photographer with rare vision; instinctive yet insightful, connecting with his subjects on a deeply personal level. His works are subtle explorations of the nature of people and their relationships with their environments.
“Wood’s enduring fascination with the possibilities of photography, in particular the use of juxtaposition, and his tireless experimentation with the relationships between formats, film and printing techniques, have created a phenomenal body of work that is consistently exciting and rewarding to view.”
Wood’s work is not organised as a series of projects, each with a start and end date. Instead, he works daily on an unfolding, diary-like recording of his observations and encounters. He spends many years returning to particular places, studying them in an attempt to refine and distil the essence of the locations and the people in his photographs.
Wood’s open and experimental approach to photography means he is constantly pushing its formal and conceptual possibilities, and the curated show is conceived to reflect this approach. Tom Wood said: “I’m not trying to document or prove anything. I’m interested in how life works and how photography works. I’m researching with a camera, seeing how many new view points I can take, looking for what I know and what I don’t know.”
The exhibition will feature original images from all Wood’s major bodies of work: Looking for Love (1989), All Zones off Peak (1998), People (1999), Bus Odyssey (2001), Photie Man (2005), Men and Women (2013).
Entry is free, and the exhibition is on until 16 June 2013. For more information, visit the National Media Museum website