• Tom Wood - The DPA Work

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester
      'Tom Wood - The DPA Work' is the culmination of a long term research project led by Dr Cian Quayle. The Documentary Photography Archive was founded by Audrey Linkman, in Manchester, in 1985. In 2012 photographer Tom Wood invited Quayle to investigate an archive of two landmark commissions which he had undertaken for the DPA, which had lain dormant and unseen since their deposit with the DPA and holding at Greater Manchester County Record Office. Wood first exhibited a selection of the Rainhill Hospital photographs at the Open Eye Gallery in 1988, and in 2020 current Open Eye Executive Director Sarah Fisher has described the instrumental significance of Quayle's role as 'independent researcher-curator' evidenced in new writing, the collaborations, commissions, exhibitions, publications and events, which he has curated, authored, edited, and published. The development of the book project emanated from The DPA Work exhibitions at Contemporary Art Space Chester, which featured as part of Look 13 Liverpool International Photography Festival and the publication of Tom Wood - The DPA Work are the culmination of this research. In his writing Quayle contextualised the origin of the DPA projects, the subsequent journey, reception and wider reach of Wood's work. The introductory, contextual essay 'Tom Wood - The DPA Work' revisits the basis for the original commissions and their contemporary significance and wider contextual understanding and interpretation.