Tom Wood: All Zones Off Peak

  July 1999

Stanley Road, Bootle, 1989

Tom Wood was born in Mayo in 1951, grew up in Cowley in Oxford, and then studied painting at Leicester Polytechnic. He moved to Mereyside in 1978 and has taught photography part-time there and as a visiting lecturer while pursuing long-term photographic objects. He has written many books and his work is represented in major public collections including MOMA New York ; International Centre for Photography, New York; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Tom Wood’s All Zones Off Peak is the culmination of a fifteen year photographic odyssey around Liverpool. From the simple starting point of photographing from a bus, he has created a Joycean vision of the city – a complex, lived-in, living reality.

Jim Vausham

Jim Vausham

Tom Wood shot more than three thousand rolls of film in realizing this ambitious and compelling project. From the earliest silver prints, to the recently completed large-scale color images, it is a remarkable achievement that explores new ground in photography. With a beauty that catches you unawares, the work delivers an extraordinary  picture of the ordinary.

Tom Wood’s art lies in his commitment to the multi-layered lives of people he depicts. Never sneering at them, or appropriating them for some political cause, Wood’s work nevertheless holds a political message. The social realities he portrays are underpinned by the thoughts and dreams of his protagonists; at every instant, the ‘real world’ is open to transformation.


Wood’s only loyalty is to the living city he photographs, the way its people populate and inhabit it, and most of all the ways in which, in every way and everyday ,we move in constant relation to others, known and unknown, living and dead, who also walked these streets and breathed this air.