Harkening back to the gloomy potency of Don McCullin’s defining works, Adam Dobby’s photographs chronicle an austere career witnessing most of the global wars in the past 25 years, his work has been exhibited in a number of galleries and prestigious educational establishments. The images cast in murky bands of shade, they pack the characteristic kick of conflict, yet forego the gratuity of pictures pumped into our television sets and smartphones. Avoiding the more violent facets of his practice, the pathos of these images lies in Adam’s reflective focus. They redirect our attention to the solemn expressions of his subjects, laying bare the gaze of those indelibly affected by what they’ve endured.
Having served as a soldier in various conflicts, including with 22nd Special Air Service, and subsequently as a field producer for most of the large international news networks around the world. All of which drew him to a perspective away from the sensationalised spheres of photojournalism. Having accrued a portfolio of sobering war portraits as the years have gone by. His first service with the SAS was in the Balkans, where multiple organisations were fighting over their beliefs, religious or otherwise - and seeing it from a soldier’s perspective provided him with amazing access, trying to separate the lines between right and wrong. This and many other wars that Adam had served in as a soldier or assigned to as a journalist have shaped him, and forced him to view conflict from both sides of the coin, always looking to photograph children and the older civilians innocently caught up in it all – with survival acting as their prime instinct.
Many untold stories are captured in my photographs – in some beautiful moments. Beautiful, because it’s about people – they do not shout about their past, or their hardships, or the losses they have suffered because of war. They just want peace and freedom. They believe that people can change, and that history need not repeat itself. As conflicts are full of woes, maybe we should not dwell on the right or wrong, but to allow time to look at ourselves, and ponder how fortunate we are to look up at the skies and not be worried about missiles.
Join us on 17th November from 2pm until late at HR4K Hereford for an exhibition showcasing the incredible imagery by Adam in collaboration with The Artists Rifles Collective. Free entry and parking with drinks available.
Unable to make the evening? Adam's work will be displayed at HR4K Hereford from the 11th November to the 17th December.