Photographs by Tom Wood.
Steidl, 2014. 220 pp., color illustrations throughout, 11½x8".
These three volumes of Tom Wood's new work, Landscapes, are drawn from the artist's extensive unseen and unpublished landscape work. The first volume concentrates on Wood's photographs made in response to the West of Ireland, County Mayo, the landscape of his birthplace and childhood and an area he has returned to as an artist almost every year since 1975. Taken over decades, views of this wild and remote landscape, many of them glimpsed from the car, bus or train during his journeys there, are combined with fragile fragments of surviving family photographs, video stills, and intimate and affectionate portraits of day-to-day life within a rural community.
The second volume consists of Wood's landscapes predominantly made within Merseyside, where he lived and worked for 25 years, from 1978-2003. In this more urban environment, his landscapes encompass pictures of people's homes and gardens, parks, wastelands, and the river Mersey. Wood moved to Wales in 2003 to address what he has referred to as 'the matter of landscape.' His open and experimental approach to photography means he is constantly pushing its formal and conceptual possibilities.
Selected from the photographs he has been making in Wales, the third volume is the most formally abstract of the three books and includes many photographs taken with a panoramic camera-complex, optically rich pictures with multiple points of view and focus.