Hicks sees the simplistic beauty in everyday life. He doesn’t go looking for photo opportunities but happens upon his muses whilst drifting through spaces without a designated purpose.
Worn down, derelict locations, that many may miss, catch the attention of Hicks’ eye and iPhone lens, a key tool in allowing him to share these overlooked spaces with the world through Instagram.
Best known for his ongoing photographic project Black Country Type, Hicks is now showcasing his latest exhibition, Wolverhampton Type at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Until the 22nd of March, you can see his unique take on handmade lettering, typography and signs that sit handsomely on an array of architectural backgrounds in both Wolverhampton and The Black Country. Hicks also offers Type Walks, designed to help attendees emulate the unique aesthetic of Hicks’ projects. You can see photos taken on these walks on The Black Country Type website alongside Hicks’ own work.
“I’m interested in encouraging people to look more carefully at their surroundings and to perhaps reassess their idea of what is interesting or aesthetically pleasing. I also think it’s important to challenge the idea that you need access to expensive equipment and training in order to produce thought provoking images. It’s mainly about what you choose to look at.”
Not to feel left out, Birmingham also has in on the action. Hicks runs @brumtype on Instagram where he shares his snapshots of the second city’s forgotten zones.
Hicks combines an envious talent with an eye for composition, as none of his photos are edited, he simply allows the natural light to highlight the photo perfectly. Many people have been surprised to look at Hicks’ projects and find they feature areas where they live and work – his goal has seemingly being reached – his projects are encouraging people to look harder at the ordinary, everyday spaces they often overlook.
Tom Hicks is doing more than sharing beautiful photography – he is showing the good that can come from platforms like Instagram. Instagram is regularly under scrutiny for many reasons, but it’s situations like this where social media has given someone a platform to share their ideas and spread something beautiful.