Every day is Saturday
Tom Wood

18.06.2022 – 16.10.2022

Curators: Jérôme Sother, François Cheval and Yasmine Chemali

Coproduction with Le Centre d’Art GwinZegal, Guingamp

This exhibition takes part of the Rencontres d’Arles program as part of the Grand Arles Express manifestation

Those looking for the infinite or transcendence are unlikely to find it amongst bus journeys or football matches, at the Pier Head ferry terminal of Mersey River, or in shipyard changing rooms. As for those looking for a deterministic logic, a sociological and political statement about England, they will find here and there visual information about a specific period and place. Tom Wood enables us to escape the stereotypes that a certain British documentary photography has accustomed us to.

The body of work consisting of several series that are now “historical”, draws us deep into the atmosphere of Thatcher and post-Thatcher England. An ill wind had long since begun to blow in Liverpool. And when Tom Wood arrived on the scene, it was still blowing, harshly. A succession of events, such as the closing of the shipyards, add together and repeat to paint a coherent picture of a particular universe, of a period, a class war, of which soon only a few traces, and some portraits of rare nobility, portraits cleared of any heroic pathos, will remain. It has never been easy for photography to escape heroization. In its keenness to construct allegorical, hence irreal, attitudes of the human condition, photography has sometimes instrumentalised suffering and misery. It has, in fact, underestimated the often more meaningful singularities. In the desire to affirm photographic standards, wanting to contract a “moral” alliance with a community of “modest folk”, with the “small people”, is a challenge, even a provocation. Tom Wood has risen tirelessly to this challenge, liberating photographic empathy from the purgatory in which it was vegetating.


Tom Wood, from Irish origins and born in 1951 (County Mayo), takes photographs almost every day. After studying fine arts at the Leicester Polytechnic from 1973 to 1976, he moved with his family to Merseyside in 1978. Fascinated by experimental cinema, he then turned to photography, learning about the medium on his own. Self-taught, he remained faithful to chemistry, paper, and the darkroom. He experimented relentlessly with technique, from the simplest to the most elaborate (from expired film to panoramic photography). Between 1978 and 2001, he roamed the city of Liverpool and the banks of the Mersey, with his Leica 35, and painted a portrait of the city and its residents: streets, pubs, clubs, markets, building sites, parks and football stadiums. This candid portrait of the working-class populations in industrial wastelands and abandoned places forms a body of work without equal in contemporary photography.

Tom Wood’s work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions around the world. In France, he has been shown in festivals, as part of the Sit Down Gallery or at the Centre photographique GwinZegal in Guingamp (2012) and the Château d’Eau in Toulouse (2005). His photographs have been included in the collections of MoMA and ICP in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. In 2002, Tom Wood received the “Humanity Dialogue Prize” at the Rencontres d’Arles.

Tom Wood
Gangolad [Anfield]
Series : The Reds – Liverpool

©Tom Wood

Tom Wood
Series : The Reds – Liverpool
©Tom Wood

Tom Wood
Pink Lipstick
Series : Chelsea Reach – Looking For Love
©Tom Wood

Tom Wood
Hard hat
Series : Cammell Laird Shipyard
©Tom Wood

Tom Wood
Redhead boy
Series : Photie Man

©Tom Wood

Public program

Freestyle football

Wednesday 06.07 – 18:00 > 19:30

Guided tour followed by an introduction to the practice with the vice world champion Alice Fougeray.

Price: 10€

All public

Booking required

Lights and colors

Saturday 23.07 – 10h > 12h

Creative worskhop about lights and colors with the artist Élodie Garrone.

Price: 10€

From 7 years old

Booking required

Colorfoul portraits

Saturday 06.08 – 10h > 12h

Family workshop to create a protrait made of colorfoul papers with the art therapist Guillemette Lorin.

Price: 4€ + entrance fee

From 3 years old

Booking required

Informations and booking

+33 (0)4 22 21 52 12
or +33 (0)4 22 21 52 14


Cahiers #4

Every day is Saturday : Tom Wood

Yasmine Chemali, François Cheval, David Peace, John Peel, Alexis Tadié, Leïla Vignal.

192 pages
Isbn : 979-10-90698-53-6

Tom Wood or Photie Man photographs everyday life, roaming the streets of his hometown. He paints the portrait of Liverpool and its people, caught on the spot on the top deck of a bus, on the ferry, in the markets or at a nightclub. Tom Wood’s photographs are not edited, not cropped. What is available to see is there, before us. A compulsive gesture, an incisive gaze, the peril of the contact sheet that can tell a story or just as easily miss it. So, we should be as generous as the artist who gives all that he can. Without ulterior motives, Cahiers #4 mix up the gazes and undertake a collective reading of this Liverpudlian universe.

On sale at Mougins Centre of Photography’s shop.