Tom Bing is a photographer, but with a difference. He graduated from the BA (Hons) Visual Communication degree.
His interests lie in documenting what you wouldn’t normally see and bringing things to light. Such as refugees and asylum seekers currently living in Leeds.
He was originally drawn towards graphic design, so he started his A Levels in product design, art and photography, but found the academic teaching style hard to engage with. Having almost given up on education, he decided to try the BTEC National Certificate in Graphic Design. His tutor, and the more hands-on teaching style helped him to develop his ideas and political views so when he came to see what the BA (Hons) Visual Communication course was about at Leeds Arts University, he knew it was the perfect choice for him.
He said, "The course teaches you from a different perspective. Students arrive with a particular area of specialism in mind, but they spend time exploring the message and much later in the course find the medium in which to work. It’s much more about the awareness of your surroundings, and finding a message you want to convey."
Tom has a strong interest in politics, his main areas of interest being human rights and globalisation. He says, "I know this sounds a bit idealistic, but I want to work for companies that are ethical, and have integrity." After graduating Tom became the resident photographer for The Ultimate Holding Company who are a collective design agency and list clients such as Greenpeace, The Environmental Investigation Agency and Climate Camp.
He worked on a project entitled "Far From Home?" in collaboration with graphic design graduate Kyle Bibby, and charity worker Sally McGee. The resulting exhibition acted as an awareness raising campaign, using six refugees and asylum seekers to explore the issues they encountered. It was commissioned by a charity called the Manuel Bravo Project, and was displayed at The Light shopping centre in Leeds.
In addition he also began working on a project called ExtInked, which is working to help raise money and awareness for wildlife conservation charities. "They wanted to update conservation's image and have launched a new exhibition of drawings, individually illustrating one hundred of the most endangered species in the British Isles. It reaches its conclusion with the live tattooing of the drawings onto 100 willing ambassadors. Species include the humble red squirrel and the cornflower. The hope is that these ambassadors will then go and spread the word about their chosen tattooed species."
Visit Tom's website: tombingphoto.tumblr.com