Irish Work, Charlie, 1974, by Tom Wood (see full image below). Photo: Tom Wood

North Mayo homecoming for renowned photographer

Photographer Tom Wood was born in Crossmolina, Co. Mayo, in 1951 and moved to England when he was four years old.

He returned frequently with his father to visit his extended family in Crossmolina. Wood’s sensitive and close relationship with the place of his birth is never more evident than in his photography.

Wood studied fine art at Leicester Polytechnic in 1973, where extensive viewing of experimental films led him to photography, in which he is self-taught.

He moved to New Brighton, Merseyside, in 1978 and for the next 25 years photographed constantly in and around Liverpool, producing an enormous collection of work, renowned around the world.

“It was really lucky that I ended up in Merseyside, where there were so many Irish,” said Wood. “Just looking at the faces, there's a certain shared cultural sensibility, in this body language. It probably helped me.”

In 2003, Wood moved to north Wales, where he continues to photograph the life and landscape around him.

Wood's strong desire to exhibit in his birthplace has not been made available to him - until now. A 'select snapshot' of 50 years of his work is being showcased in an exhibition at the Cultural and Civic Centre, Mullenmore Street, Crossmolina (F26 A0C7), from July 12 to August 25. The exhibition is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays in July and August (up to August 25).

The selection includes some of his best known photographs, previously exhibited extensively around the world, alongside never-before-seen video work.

“When I would visit Ireland during all these other projects, whatever I was learning at the time was influencing whatever I did in Ireland that year,” Wood said.

It is hoped that audiences far and near will visit the exhibition and will take time to experience the work of a world-renowned artist back in his hometown.