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Profile of acclaimed photographer Tom Wood. Tom has taken photographs almost every day for the past 40 years, mainly around the streets, workplaces and nightspots of Merseyside. 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. In summer 2013 Tom visited Mayo in the west of Ireland, where he was born, and the film documents his encounters whilst photographing the landscape and the people for a new book. Supported by the Arts Council of Wales, an exhibition of Tom's work is currently on at the Mostyn Gallery, North Wales until April 6th.

30 minutes

Last on

Wed 26 Feb 2014 01:45

Tom Wood

Tom Wood
In the first of a new run of What Do Artists Do All Day?, this film profiles Tom Wood, one of the most significant photographers of his generation, whose work has documented British working class life for over forty years.

West of Ireland
Last summer, Tom visited County Mayo in the West of Ireland, where he was born, and this film follows him as he photographs the landscape and people for a new book and exhibition (now running at the Mostyn Gallery in North Wales until April 6th).

Exhibitions
Tom has taken photographs almost every day since the 1970s, mainly around the streets, workplaces and nightspots of Merseyside. In his first book, Looking For Love he documented the lives of the regulars at Chelsea Reach nightclub, while All Zones Off Peak featured pictures taken over eighteen years riding the buses of Liverpool.

In recent years, his profile has been boosted by a series of exhibitions (including a major retrospective last year at the National Media Museum in Bradford) and acclaimed books, such as Photieman, named after the nickname given to him by kids he photographed on the streets of Liverpool.

Intimate
In this film, we spend a few days with Tom, capturing an intimate sense of how he interacts with people, always camera in hand, and taking photographs at a range of locations from a farmers’ auction to the local pub.

"I’m kind of stealing the pictures but I’m also giving this stuff.."
The film offers a rare opportunity to observe Tom at work. He has often shied away from publicity but here he talks warmly and honestly about his work and motivation:  “People could tell where you’re coming from.... I did it for free…I’m kind of stealing the pictures but I’m also giving this stuff back because it will all be there one day.”

Recognition
Featuring dozens of his photographs from a long working life, Tom also reflects not only on his art but also the rewards of life as a photographer: “Over the years, I’ve never made any money..….many years I’d make a loss…but when a gallery started representing me and selling my work I couldn’t believe it and here I am now with lots of recognition ….so it’s really good…”

Credits

Role Contributor
Executive ProducerRichard Bright
DirectorMaurice O'Brien

BBC Arts

BBC Arts

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