You’ll Miss it When It’s Gone – How Lockdown Shows the Need for Photography

The art of photography has both benefitted and suffered since everyone has their own camera in their back pocket. Yes, more people are taking photos than ever but the artistry and skill is largely, put politely, rather lacking. Lockdown has seen us suffer in many ways, ways we would almost certainly never have expected. The simplest things such as the hustle and bustle of your local high street and the oddness, quirkiness and joy of everyday life has been stifled and we find ourselves now missing what we foolishly took for granted. Not so photographer David Hicks, whose skill in capturing transient, fleeting moments of humans and their impact on the world around them shows not just the artistry of the medium but also its importance to our psyche and morale.

There’s a particular gallery which caught our attention, entitled ‘Waiting for Something to Happen’ (perhaps in retrospect it should be ‘if only we knew something was going to happen’). Across a series of black and white images, the streets of Stockholm (though it could feasibly be anywhere) show people lost in the moment, not seeming to have any plans or any direction…simply existing, as if waiting for the Universe to give them a nudge. David captions the images with a line that feels incredibly pertinent now: “There was the promise of events but none seemed to ever happen. So, people waited together…patiently”.

David Hicks’ combination of not only using the photographic image as artwork, with the framing, movement, structure and themes drawing us in but also as living photojournalism, documenting the world around us and giving us a glimpse at those things that often simply becomes wallpaper and background noise is truly important. In lockdown, the opportunity to savour even the seemingly mundane activity of people around us feels like a luxury. To make the most of each moment, sometimes you need to be reminded that there was even a moment there to experience and photography helps us do that — preserving moments in time which are so easily lost and as we find to our cost, so easily missed.

See more of David Hicks’ work here: