A University of Wolverhampton librarian has created a photographic exhibition which focuses on the Black Country.
‘Black Country Type’ is an ongoing photographic project by Tom Hicks, 45 from Kingswinford and a Librarian for the University’s Faculty of Arts. The project aims to create a visual record of Black Country areas and explores the humour, tradition and variety of visual culture on offer in the region.
Following a solo exhibition at the Birmingham and Midlands Institute recently he will be putting his work on display at the city-wide Birmingham Design Festival in the summer as well as the Reclaim Photography Festival.
Tom said: “My photographs focus on hidden or unseen areas of the Black Country and feature objects, architecture, handmade graphics, graffiti and vintage typography.
“Things change really quickly in towns and cities. I took some photos of a row of shops in Wolverhampton last year and they’ve now all been demolished. There are plenty of people taking photographs of new buildings and local landmarks, but sometimes the overlooked areas are just as interesting.”
Tom takes photographs whilst he is cycling and has been influenced by English philosopher, biologist, anthropologist and sociologist, Herbert Spencer as well as the Boyle Family, a group of collaborative artists who were indiscriminate in subject matter.
A native of the Black Country, Tom is a writer and photographer with a strong interest in the region and its landscape. Follow his ‘Black Country Type’ photographic journey on Instagram.
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