Interviews, New Talent, Ones To Watch, Portrait

Jack Davison drove through America’s highways for 10,000 miles, taking portraits along the way

All images © Jack Davison

“I’m less concerned with facts and more the beauty or strangeness of that moment.”

He’s only 24, but English photographer Jack Davison is already carving out a promising career for himself. Essex born and London based, he taught himself how to take pictures after picking up a camera at 16; studying English at Warwick University, he spent most of his time at university taking pictures. Photographing his family, friends and the countryside around him, he says the internet was his major influence and “a tutor”.

The internet introduced me to communities of photographers [and] Flickr, in its heyday, was unparalleled for introducing like-minded artists and creators to each other’s work,” he says. “There were huge swathes of images available to me to take in. I was driven to shoot pretty much non-stop from then on.

I studied English Literature at university [but] despite all the reading and essays there was plenty of time to take pictures,” he adds. “My tutor described my degree as ‘the loyal, drab wife’ that I’d spurned for photography – my exciting mistress.”

Nominated by gallerist and curator Zelda Cheatle, who describes Davison as “a refreshing mixture of enthusiasm and a good eye”, Davison’s work varies from documentary to abstract, and takes in both colour and black-and-white images. For his recent series, 26 States, he spent six months travelling across central America shooting documentary images; many of his shots are portraiture-focused but he also has a  conceptual bent and enjoys playing with light, blur and tone.

I spent January to July working and travelling round the USA shooting and meeting photographers,” he says. “We did 10,000 miles on the road and sped through 26 states during the six months. I’d head out and wander through the streets looking for people to speak to and photograph. I’m reliant on moments of spontaneity with my subjects.

His time away from England has reinvigorated his view of the country, he says, and he’s keen to capture and explore it further. I’d consider [what I do] to be documentary photography, but my own view is subjective,” he says. “I’m less concerned with facts and more the beauty or strangeness of that moment.”

See more of Jack’s work here.

First published in the January 2014 issue. You can buy the issue here.