Tom Wood’s new photo book 101 Pictures features a range of the photographer’s work captured across a 23-year period around Merseyside, where he relocated from his native County Mayo, Ireland in 1978. Many of the photographs were taken within a ten minute walk from his home in Wallasey, and see-saw between high contrast flash photography and subtler takes on the everyday.
Images from Wood’s most celebrated photo series feature in the book, including All Zones Off Peak and Bus Odyssey, which are the fruits of his various journeys around the area by bus. In these series, Wood captures quiet moments among passengers, crowds waiting at bus stops, and views from the bus window.
The book also features images from his early 1980s series Looking for Love, including a photograph capturing a sea of meticulously coiffed women (shown top), affectionately titled Anyone got any hairspray?
The series captured the bustle and drunken interactions of people on a night out at the since shuttered Chelsea Reach disco pub in New Brighton – an area that also attracted the lenses of photographers Martin Parr and Ken Grant in the 80s and 90s.
Images from the series Photie Man (inspired by a nickname dished out to Wood by locals) and lesser-known photographs from his early career also feature. Elsewhere are glimpses of traditional gender roles and their associated rituals, whether in Women’s Market (the result of a 16-year Saturday morning ritual of visiting Liverpool’s Great Homer Street Market) or the shots of match day at both Liverpool and Everton grounds.
Spanning various series over a vast period, 101 Pictures offers a comprehensive view of Wood’s work in the Merseyside region. Yet beyond that, it serves as a warm documentation of the area, its people and their daily routines, while simultaneously capturing the easily overlooked magic of the everyday that has become a precious commodity in 2020.