T W Wood Art

“Art to me is an anecdote of the spirit.”

Mark Rothko

Trevor Wood is a Scottish artist and musician living and working in London where he also teaches drawing and painting. Welcome to his Art Website where you will find a selection of work from his early days in Scotland to what he has produced more recently from his Space studio in East London.

Please scroll down to read a short summary about Trevor and the recurring themes in his artwork or use the navigation menu above - you will be able to look at the work in detail by following the links from Galleries. If you want to know more about Trevor and his work, what inspires him, who has influenced him, and the techniques he has used, there is a link to a document at the end for you to download or read, as well as a form to enquire about buying particular pieces of work.


Trevor specialised in drawing and painting at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen and later gained an MA Art in Architecture from the University of East London. As a result of his artwork (drawing, painting, mixed media and digital) appearing in solo and joint exhibitions, group shows, open studio events and online platforms e.g. Saatchi Art, he has work in private collections in the UK and abroad.

His approach can be described as observational and perceptual rather than conceptual. Recurring topics are natural phenomena, man’s intervention, decay and renewal but one constant is his reliance on landscape - wild and man-made, susceptible to change by natural events and human intervention, both subject and object, part of an ongoing narrative to achieve economic, political, social and environmental sustainability.

Trevor takes landscape, in the context of his art, to be his environment and surroundings wherever he is, whether that is in the wilds of Scotland or East London and even India and Iceland. He tries to take in the essence of where he is with the sights, sounds, history, culture, experiences, and stories of people he may meet and allow (consciously or subconsciously) all these elements to seep through the mix to the finished work. His process of painting freely takes him away from the immediate subject as he dives deeper into the consciousness of memory vs. reality. The memory and feelings he had with the subject (landscape) and the place (environment) on his excursions take command of the process, occasionally injecting a hint of realism.



Like other Scottish artists, Trevor is influenced by the natural environment and wide-open spaces in the largely untamed landscapes of his homeland which has seen people settle, leave and return but somehow remain, for the most part, unchanged. The works in the Wilderness Galleries are derived mainly from his solitary walking trips to the Highlands of Scotland where he has camped in wild places, rested in bothies and climbed Munros - 277 mountains over 3,000 feet high (c. 914 metres) named after Hugh Munro, the first person to compile a list of them (Munro’s Tables) in 1891.

Scottish Gaelic has a rich vocabulary for describing landscape including Munros – it is both commonplace and lyrical, providing a window into the physical environment, history of its inhabitants, and mythologies – the land and the language are significantly linked. Like the language, Trevor’s drawings, watercolours, paintings, collages and digital representations are also prosaic and poetic. However, it is the relationship between geology and landscape which is explored most dramatically in his work.

Scotland’s primeval past is visible in its natural landscapes fashioned by geology - mountains, islands and sea lochs and the geological convulsions which formed them; lava-plains, glacier-haunted straths and corries; and volcanic stumps. Trevor‘s work in the Wilderness Galleries illustrates both the uniqueness and similarities in the Highland areas he has traversed – from the rugged peaks and lochans in the North West to the mountain giants of the Cairngorms in the East, to the ridges, lochs and volcanic remains in the Western Highlands & Islands.

As Trevor has walked over hills and through glens, around lochs and through forests, over moors and ridges in all weathers, he has observed, photographed, sketched and experienced these landscapes first-hand. Back in his studio in East London, all this – from the colours which dictate his palette to topographical features which influence the surfaces and textures he uses, to the names of the hills and other features of the landscape which capture both the history and the geography - is used as the starting point for the artworks in the Wilderness Galleries. The main inspiration for the layers and multiples series of work in these Galleries was the American Abstract Expressionists which gave Trevor the freedom to extend his scope and scale but still keep a measured and meditative narrative.

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Trevor is fascinated by cities and the way they are formed, manipulated and changed by the histories and lives of people who inhabit them. He is particularly drawn to ‘edgelands’ – out of the way and unnoticed parts of the urban landscape, largely unseen and uncared for areas such as railway land, derelict industrial works and building sites which are indicative of change or transition. It was the environmental activist and writer, Marion Shoard, who first used the term ‘edgeland’ in 2002 to describe the ‘interfacial interzone between urban and rural’. Edgelands are, by definition, ‘outsiders’ - on the periphery of society and its intentions. Physically this refers to how they have become neglected, often because they no longer have a purpose and, like the people who live and work there, have become redundant.

Trevor’s personal experience of an ‘edgeland’ is the Lower Lea Valley – the area around the final leg of the river Lea’s journey south from Luton through East London to join the Thames. When he moved from Scotland to London in the late 70’s, he was attracted to it from an escapist and artistic perspective and fully recognises how this area has continued to be a source of his inspiration for drawing, painting, mixed media, photography, super 8 films and digital prints which document his observations and experience of the changes - from the rise and fall of industry, factories before redevelopment, the flourishing of nature and alternative canal culture, demolition and rebuilding to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - desolation and decay, the epitome of the end of a cycle, and the beginning of regeneration. This post-industrial urban landscape is imbued with an essence of the socio/political - the movement of communities and social changes are seen as a metaphor for the decay of the facades and structures of the buildings - ephemeral and vulnerable to change but stripped back down to basic simplicity and starkness.

Trevor has constructed and reconstructed his work to document these changes visually and his work in the Urban Galleries is as varied as the Lower Lea Valley itself and the techniques, processes and materials he has used. His weathering and charring of wood, and the way the surfaces are manipulated in terms of texture, elevation and colour reflect the changes the area has undergone over time as does his work involving collage and acrylic on paper or wood and oil and encaustic on canvas which have been assembled in a random or ordered way to form a mosaic on the surface which he alters or removes and re-arranges until the final result has been achieved. Trevor’s horizontal depictions of landscape stripped back to bare forms and alluding to layers of history represent cycles of creation and destruction.

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Trevor’s earlier works of art have been categorised as symbolic because they are allegorical, emblematic, and spiritual. They represent people, places, and beliefs and have two main influences: Celtic and Indian Iconography, which both abound with symbols of spirit, emblems of gods and goddesses, and images from mythological tales.

From an early age, Trevor was aware of stone circles and other illustrations of his Celtic ancestry visible in the Scottish Highlands – the landscape of his birth. He continued to explore these even after moving to London where he also became increasingly interested in Indian art and architecture, language, culture and religion which was fuelled by an extensive period of travel in India and further study. These spiritual and mythological influences eventually found expression in his artwork as seen in his representational figurative paintings, watercolours and other works on paper and paintings featuring for example Celtic knots, crosses, spirals and Indian sacred symbols, as well as those concerned with natural elements, geographical evolution and geological history.

The Celtic and Indian iconography both further inspired and confirmed the re-occurring themes of decay and renewal in his art work. For example the Celtic single spiral is representative of ethereal energy or birth, growth, death, and expansion of knowledge and consciousness; and the circular knot emphasizes the continuity of life or eternity. The Triskelion (which looks like a 3-legged wheel) represents the concept of completion and progress via actions, cycles, progress, revolution and competition. Similarly, Indian symbols, especially Hindu, are imbued with spiritual meaning and belief in the continuing cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth.

These influences eventually led to relief paintings featuring both natural and recycled wood; and the process of weathering, painting and charring this wood would re-occur in later work and be the inspiration for the development of a technique which involved Trevor in manipulating and elevating both the materials and the surface, most notably evident in his work in the Urban Galleries. The concern with geological history and geographical evolution would also find further expression in the work in the Wilderness Galleries.

To read or download more information about Trevor and his work please click here to download