“I wanted to portray the violent transformation of nature in the European periphery. I have experienced that the concept of wilderness, and virgin land untouched by humans, has disintegrated.” –Helene Schmitz
Although Wood photographed working class Liverpool exclusively for many years, his primary interest is not documentary. Trained as a painter at the conceptually orientated Leicester Polytechnic from 1973–76, his first exploration of lens-based media was through extensive viewing of experimental films. His photography has explored a “multiplicity of formally divergent themes and quotations”, his approach “much more fluid than the current conventions of post-Conceptual photography or photojournalism dictate.” He has worked with color negative film continuously since 1976, while often using both black and white and color in different locations.
The pictures in his first book, Looking For Love (1989) were made between 1982 and 1985, and features the infamous Chelsea Reach nightclub. This was followed by the highly acclaimed All Zones Off Peak (1998) featuring pictures resulting from spending eighteen years riding the buses of Liverpool during his 1978 to 1996 ‘bus odyssey’ – the images selected from 100,000 negatives. The book People followed this in 1999, and the major retrospective book Photie Man made in collaboration with Irish artist Padraig Timoney, was published in 2005.
His work is also included in the revised edition of Bystander: the History of Street Photography (2001) and his book All Zones Off Peak featured in The Photo Book: A History vol.2 (2006). Wood received the Terence Donovan Award from the Royal Photographic Society in 1998 and the Prix Dialogue de l’Humanité at Les Recontres d’Arles, France in 2002.
Currently working part time as a lecturer in photography at Coleg Llandrillo in north Wales.