Photographer Tom Wood's landscapes

Back from Pontoon, (Cavecalf), 1975

A little more than a year ago I wrote about Tom Wood's 40-year photographic project which recorded the lives of the people of Liverpool and Merseyside between 1973 and the start of this century. Once again he has dug into his archive, this time to curate a collection of his little-known landscape work.

The pictures on show at the Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno span the past 40 years and were taken in the west of Ireland, Merseyside and north Wales.

The photographs of the west of Ireland, County Mayo, show the landscape of Wood's birthplace and childhood, many of them seen through the window of a car, taken during return journeys to the area over many years.

May Day, by Tom Wood
Achill Red (between Dugourt and Keel), 1990

In 1978 he moved to Merseyside and spent the next 25 years there creating many of his best known pictures, primarily street photographs. But at the same time he was also working on this long-term study of the landscape.

Mersey Family Vauxhall, 2002

In 2003 he moved to north Wales and began to use a panoramic camera, perhaps influenced by the drama of the landscape and feeling of openness, in contrast to that of the city.

Loggerheads View, 2010

Yet wherever they were taken or made, his pictures seem always to have a trace of human existence, and at their centre they are about the lives that pass through the spaces depicted.

The collection has been curated by Mark Durden, Professor of Photography at University of Wales, Newport, alongside which the gallery is calling for residents to submit their own family photographs.

This Biscuit Tin Photo Archive project was inspired by Tom Wood's research into his family history in rural Ireland, during which time he was presented with a biscuit tin full of old family pictures.

"I'm hoping that the images people bring to the Biscuit Tin Photo Archive will tell the personal stories and experiences of rural life in Wales that my images alone cannot," says Wood.

Here's a small selection of those submitted so far.

Two women, a child and a dog
Granny and her hens, Tom Wood
Biscuit Tin Photo Archive at MOSTYN Courtesy Elizabeth Willams, Llanfairfechan
Biscuit Tin Photo Archive at MOSTYN. Courtesy Keith Rothwell, Brynrefail
Biscuit Tin Photo Archive at MOSTYN Courtesy Elizabeth Willams, Llanfairfechan
Biscuit Tin Photo Archive at MOSTYN Courtesy Elizabeth Willams, Llanfairfechan

The photographs are on show at the Mostyn Gallery until 6 April 2014. You can also read about Tom Wood's work in an article I wrote about his show at the photographer's gallery in 2012.

Phil Coomes Article written by Phil Coomes Phil Coomes Picture editor

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