Bill Woodrow (British, b.1948) is a sculptor well-known for using materials found in scrap yards and dumps for his installation pieces. Woodrow was born on November 1, 1948 in Oxfordshire, England. He was educated at Winchester College of Art, St. Martin's School of Art, and Chelsea School of Art. Woodrow held his first solo exhibition in 1972 at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London in 1972. Since that time, Woodrow has exhibited his art at galleries and shows around the world. One of his most important shows took place in 1991 at the XXI São Paulo Biennia. He has also held shows at the South London Gallery and the Tate Gallery. In 1986, Woodrow was a finalist for the Turner Prize. Woodrow won the Anne Gerber Award from the Seattle Museum of Art in 1988.
Woodrow incorporated materials he found in used car lots and dumps into his early work; in these pieces, he always retained the original identity of the item. The scavenged materials were often made to appear as though they had been excavated from plaster in his works. Woodrow then moved on to using larger consumer goods, including cars and refrigerators, in his works. By collecting a wide variety of items and converting them into an entirely new context, Woodrow was able to incorporate a narrative element into his art. This is the case with Life on Earth. During the late 1980s, Woodrow began to work with welded steel. He later began to create sculptures from bronze. One of his most well-known works from this period is In Awe of the Pawnbroker. He often utilizes a recurring theme in much of his work. Such themes frequently include the destruction of the planet and nature triumphing over man.
Woodrow has the honor of being one of the select few artists chosen to create a sculpture to appear in Trafalgar Square. Between 1996 and 2001, Woodrow served as Trustee of the Tate Galleries. Woodrow currently lives and works in London, England.