Island Life: Photographs from the Martin Parr Foundation

David Wise


According to his biography under a magazine article, the self-taught David Wise ‘worked as an unemployment benefit officer until he was told he didn’t possess the ‘classic demeanour of a civil servant’ perhaps he took this as a compliment. He photographed his community, particularly the drinkers in the North Eastern, a pub in Hartlepool. He said:

‘Photography is associated with voyeurism[…] But these are pictures of my life taken with full assent, so I don’t believe I have that charge to answer. I am however considerably aware of the responsibility of my privilege….If at the crucial moment of exposure there exists a disjunction between subject and photographer then this is an implacable contradiction that I have, rather uneasily, to accommodate.’