David Harriman’s photographs are eloquently reserved and bittersweet, but they are also far from being merely ‘easy on the eye’. They are never without a story, and quite often an unexpected one at that. An image of a water park isn’t all fun and games; it’s perched on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus was said to have walked on water. And two girls sitting by a roadside in Las Vegas aren’t prostitutes or partygoers, but instead represent another side of the excessively grandiose city; they simply live in the everyday American suburbia on the edge of the desert.
His work has taken him far from the shores of native Britain, into the perils of the Middle East (though you wouldn’t know it from the serene images), the dusty counties north of Amarillo, Texas, as well as the two thousand miles of common border that separate the USA from Mexico, and beyond. Many of his personal projects are ongoing, and he continues to photograph his subjects and stories for many years. But somehow this work always feels relevant and novel, which is thanks to his wonderfully thought-out and potent subject matter. He is clearly fascinated with what he photographs, and this translates through the lens so that we are also utterly drawn in, to the point where it feels like there’s no going back; it’s powerful stuff.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing however, is that David’s impressive bodies of work are weighty, yet surprisingly quiet and withdrawn. His images tell bold tales with a powerful sense of stillness, and their subtlety will always leave you wanting to know just a bit more (in the best possible way).