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Contributor focus: David HicksLatest News ->

Thurs 18 Aug, 2016.

As we pointed out in the Editorial for SDk03, travel photography isn’t a genre that normally suggests associations with SomethingDark.

If “travel photography” conjures visions of self-indulgent holiday happy snaps, or perhaps of a commercial, biscuit-tin-lid style of scenery, then the work of David Hicks will provide a much-needed breath of fresh air. It certainly did for us, and we were delighted when the English photographer agreed to provide us with the images we wanted from his Scooters of Taipei series, and also to write a short article about the city of Taipei and its population’s use of scooters as a practical means of urban transport (SDk03, pp. 166–7).

Hicks has visited well over seventy countries, and, more than merely photographing what he encounters on his travels, he seeks out and uncannily captures the essence of a place and its people. He concentrates on everyday life, which more often than not is everyday life on the streets of the world’s cities. In the photographer’s own words, he focusses on “the banal things in life” – and there are few things in human life more banal than a toilet, which brings us to one of his more recent explorations that struck us as worthy of particular note: his Game of Thrones series.

Our featured photographer for SomethingDark no. 3, Lisa Furness, has also shot a series on toilets, and in our interview with her she describes them as “in-between places, corners of our man-made world that exist quietly, generally overlooked and yet completely integral to our existence” (SDk03, pp. 192–4). Hicks has taken his exploration of these “in-between yet completely integral places” to a global level; making the toilets of the world an object of contemplation, even of awe and admiration, surely qualifies as an act of transgressive art as much as documentary, and one that deserves saluting.

One reviewer of Hicks’ work has commented, “I’ve often found myself imagining that I can smell, feel or hear the things in his pictures”. Perhaps describing Hicks’ photography as a breath of fresh air, as we did above, is not what comes to mind when surveying toilets; nevertheless, we recommend you saviour our selection from his Game of Thrones series, and breathe deeply.

Copyright © David Hicks Copyright © David Hicks Copyright © David Hicks
Copyright © David Hicks Copyright © David Hicks Copyright © David Hicks
Copyright © David Hicks Copyright © David Hicks Copyright © David Hicks

To see David Hicks’ complete Game of Thrones series, visit his website’s gallery: Game of Thrones.

For the SomethingDark no. 3 “Perspective” feature on Hicks’ focus on Taipei, see Scooters of Taipei.

For an example of Lisa Furness’ toilet series and her relevant comments, see Lisa Furness: portraying the traces of our existence (SDk03, pp. 192–4).

David Hicks is participating in SomethingDark in Berlin in September. He will be attending the relaunch event and exhibition opening on 2 September, and is exhibiting three images from his Scooters of Taipei series, presented as A1 prints on brushed aluminium. For full details of “SomethingDark in Berlin”, see our news item Announcing SomethingDark in Berlin: the SDk03 launch event and exhibition.

Text copyright © SomethingDark 2016. All images copyright © David Hicks 2016. All rights reserved.