Reviews and Testimonials
"Sarah’s work with the Calais Sessions seemed effortless, despite challenging conditions. Her talent behind the camera and the integrity which she brought to the project was so wonderful. Her skill in being there at the right moment, without anyone really noticing, meant that she was able to capture the very heart of what we were doing and produced such stunning and honest photos. That’s real talent in my opinion."
“A telling counterpoint to the tabloid images, with heart-rending stories and powerful photos by Sarah Hickson.”
“Sarah’s pictures completely dispelled the myth of 'the other' and brought into clear relief what binds us to each other.....With her rare combination of performance, photojournalism and context, Sarah brings forth a humane and beautiful world as she sees it, for others to see; a world increasingly out of focus.”
“In 'Sounds Unseen', the images shed light on the power of community building across cultural, economic, and artistic boundaries….. For viewers, the imagination is left swirling….Hickson’s editing of her work results in a carefully balanced presentation of images that show both difficult living conditions and the capacity of camp dwellers for pleasure and joy. It elevates the capacity for empathy among everyday human beings over the failure of world leaders to govern with conscience and vision. It is quite possible to walk away from this exhibition with a greater awareness of both the ephemeral nature of borders and the transcendental power of cultural exchange.”
“'Sounds Unseen' opened the new St. Ann’s Warehouse Studio with a stunning collection of images by Sarah Hickson….. Hickson’s images document moving moments of togetherness, strangers building friendships through music, people finding respite from the harsh reality of daily life in a refugee camp, the strength of the human spirit, and capacity to connect in tough circumstances.”
“We were privileged to see her luminous, beautifully informative and respectful photographs of the so-called Calais ‘Jungle’… The exhibition also focused on musicians from many different countries in the camp and their coming together to create 'The Calais Sessions', a testament to cross-border, creative collaboration in the most difficult of circumstances. It’s probably one of the most inspiring exhibitions I have ever seen.”
"There's a bittersweet tinge to the synchronicity of the three shows sharing Galway International Arts Festival gallery this year. The sprawling wreckage of David Mach's tsunami-like installation; the dawning awareness of Jennifer Cunningham's adolescents as they contemplate the fading of childhood and the transience of its playful havens; Sarah Hickson's documentation of 'The Calais Sessions', the episodic, momentary musical respite that enlivened the grim conditions of the refugee 'Jungle' at Calais. All three projects dovetail in feeling and in physical presence."
“Sarah Hickson’s work, particularly around the themes of ritual and refugees, strives for authenticity and invites the observer to take a position in the narrative, to play imaginatively with the subject and to honour the best of the human spirit at the expense of uncontrollable circumstances.”
“The perspective and vocabulary her images evoke, whether in a rehearsal room or public space, are profound. Far from simply documenting a single moment in time, one can detect through Sarah’s work something much deeper about the articulation of her ideas and about the field of photography. What the observer encounters is an image seeking to engage in a relationship that is proactive and not simply responsive.”
“Your pictures capture the participants’ humanity beautifully.”
“Your images are such a strong and profound theatrical narrative within the piece as a whole.”
“Sarah's photograph of me is great. This, and many other portraits taken on Saturday by her are a soul journey. Full marks to the absolute gem of a photographer and great team member you have there in Sarah Hickson.”
“Sarah does really capture who I am, my truth....”
"The show is hard to pigeonhole, but it certainly makes great theatre, especially thanks to director Jen Heyes. She blends Goldstein's liveliness with the powerful images, which share the stage with Ed Hall’s glorious banners and stunning photography by Sarah Hickson – all effectively lit by Nigel Edwards and underscored by the sounds of David Bowie (as arranged by Sven Ratzke). But there’s more to the evening: a sharing of revelations, a calling out by nine individuals of perceived injustices. Again, it’s down to Heyes and Hickson that they fulfil their potential to thrill and move, for Hickson provides portraits of the participants and Heyes, in double-quick time, put them through their paces earlier that day."
“It was a pleasure to be involved in this amazing project. You clearly have an enviable gift of being able to see the aesthetic in the everyday.”
"We were so impressed by the discreet and natural way you became a participant in our project. You are always a positive presence and so very calm and good with people. We feel very fortunate that our events were captured by you on camera as the results are beautiful. It's a privilege to experience the walk through vivid images taken with such sensitivity."
“Your photos are so beautiful, as I knew they would be. Thank you so much for your help and advice, and for being such a stellar part of the Encampment team.”
“WOW! Thanks so much Sarah. You’re an astonishingly gifted photographer and amazing human being. It was such a joy to be with you during our historic project with the Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra.”
“I’m in the New York Times. Thanks Sarah for the best publicity shot I’ve ever had.”
“These are utterly fabulous, at last photos that are beginning to capture what this conference is about! I really appreciate the work you’re doing on this project, it’s going to be invaluable to us.”
“These photos are simply wonderful! You've really captured the energy of the session.”