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Pier Head views at Liverpool Open Eye Gallery

It’s Liverpool’s defining view and beating heart.

And now the city’s River Mersey and world famous waterfront - and the people who are drawn to it - are the stars of a new exhibition opening, aptly, at the waterfront Open Eye Gallery.

Irish-born photographer Tom Wood spent quarter of a century crossing the river from his New Brighton home, and captured life on and around the Wirral and Liverpool waterfronts and on the famous Mersey Ferry which plied between the two.

Now around 90 images selected from thousands of rolls of film are going on show at the Mann Island gallery in Pier Head – Tom Wood.

They show commuters, families, friends, the old and the young making the everyday journey across the river during the 1970s and 80s.

Curator Thomas Dukes explains: “The work spans a time of change for photography.

Woodside Ferry Terminal, 1986, © Tom Wood

Top: Beans + Chips 2, Tower Promenade, 1990, © Tom Wood

“A lot of work from the late 70s was showing a world that was rapidly being built, yet people in photographs were often treated like actors, representing an idea or branch of society. They were rarely captured as individual people in their own right.

“Tom Wood was one of the photographers that disrupted this, by allowing people to bring their own personality into the frame.”

The exhibition is accompanied by artist and producer Liz Wewiora’s project Ferry Folk. Working with Merseytravel as artist-in-residence, she has been carrying out a socially engaged photography project on board the ferry and around the ferry terminals.

Meanwhile there is also a new book, Termini, which is being launched to accompany the show and features images by Wood and specially-written text and poems by Paul Farley.

Pier Head – Tom Wood is at the Open Eye from January 12 to March 25.

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