"Suicide Machine" by Dan Wood

Jun 27, 2018

Dan is a British documentary photographer who enjoys telling stories where people and place are the main characters, and which also have a subtle personal connection to Dan's life. With a nice minimalist approach, the images that Dan creates are clever and evocative, showing only what is needed and letting us make the final connections. In his series "Suicide Machine", Dan explores the community of Bridgend in Wales, a place that sadly became famous for its high suicide rate, trying to discover what the future looks like for its inhabitants.

am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?

DW - My name is Dan Wood and I'm a documentary photographer from Wales, UK.

I've been taking pictures for over 25 years and am predominantly self taught.

My work mainly focuses on People and Place and the various projects usually contain subtle personal connections.  I'm the author of 2 monographs; Suicide Machine (sold out) and Gap in the Hedge (available now) - both published by Another Place Press.

At the moment I am in between projects after recently finishing Gap in the Hedge. I'm enjoying the break but looking forward to the two book launches/exhibitions that are planned for the official Gap in the Hedge launch in the July/August.


am - How did you start in photography?

DW - I started taking photography seriously in 1994 after many years of playing around with ‘point and shoots’. I was big into skateboarding at the time and really wanted to take good photographs of my friends, so I ended up buying my first SLR which was a Minolta 5000 AF and it all progressed from there.


am - What is "Suicide Machine" about?

DW - "Suicide Machine" is ultimately about bringing up a young child (My Daughter) in a town that is synonymous with suicide. The town is my hometown of Bridgend in Wales, UK and the project documented every corner of it from coast to mountain to discover if genuine happiness and prosperity really exists there.

am - What inspires your work?

DW - I’m inspired by everything, especially exploring new places. But mostly my inspiration comes from photobooks, I’m a big collector and find them a constant source of inspiration and that keeps me motivated and in love with photography.


am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?

DW - Some of my favourite photographers are; Gregory Halpern, Todd Hido, Vanessa Winship, Lucas Foglia. And favourite artists would be George Shaw, Edward Hopper and David Hockney.


am - What are your main interests as an artist?

DW - My main interest as an artist is to express myself, but I also want to tell stories of people and place and then tie it all together in one neat package - it can be a tricky and complex process but its a challenge that I really enjoy and one that I find very rewarding. Most of my projects are always based around personal history.

am - What’s your favourite movie?

DW - There are so many! But to name 3 I’d Say: The Big Lebowski, Amelie and Pecker. If you’re a photographer, particularly and street/documentary photographer and you haven’t seen Pecker, then you’re missing out!


am - What is your favourite photo book?

DW - Again, so many! I’ll name a few: Gregory Halpern - ZZYZX; Bryan Schutmaat - Grays the Mountain Sends; Vanessa Winship - She Dances on Jackson. In my opinion 3 of the best photobooks ever.


am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.

All images © Dan Wood

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