April Hickox is a photographer whose works are devoted to memory and history. She could be called a documentarian as she often aims at showing things without distorting formation about important scientific and historical objects using a photography approach.
April Hickox is a portrait photographer who was born in 1955 in Oakville, Ontario. From her childhood, she was fascinated by the idea that wedding photography and other types of visual art can preserve the memory about absolutely different things - from antiquities to human relationships.
When she was young, she decided to continue developing her interest in wedding portraits and entered Twickenham College of Technology, London where she studied photography and graphic design from 1 year.
She returned to Canada when she entered the 5th year graduate studies program at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto. There she got an AOCA degree and then continued exploring photography and printmaking for over 4 years.
Soon after graduation, she moved to Toronto Islands, where she lives permanently. She says she feels like a part of the local community and enjoys restoring and preserving the memory of local history. She often shoots people, landscapes, homes on Toronto Island but isn’t a self portrait photographer. In addition to a photographer career, she teaches at Ontario College of Art and Design University.
April Hickox can shoot things that wouldn’t evoke interest in many people: damaged dishes, ruined buildings, absolutely unremarkable views. She has put together a large personal collection of broken objects that were found on the Toronto Islands.
She shows these objects in her photos and included them in the Gather series. Another example of her work related to preserving the memory of generations is a series of pictures called Memento (2007), where she showed family heirlooms, crazy wedding photos each of which is associated with the history of a link or consecutive links of a family.
One of the famous projects of Hickox is Landscape and Memory, where, using photos, the artist compares the “before” and “after” - changes that happened to Toronto Islands over a few decades. The aim of the photo series is to focus on saving history and the environment. She keeps working in this direction. Recently the artist has launched the Invasive Species project, which shows the places that are in the course of natural regeneration.
April Hickox has a daughter, who can’t hear. The fact that she has to bring up a special child encouraged the photographer to create many works dedicated to human attachment and her personal experience as the mother of a deaf child.
The Within Dialogue (2000) installation includes a series of photos of human mouths in communication. These pictures of mouths show the admiration of the photographer for mouths and silence. Her works go beyond photos only. The Can You Hear Flowers? (1994) installation is a special project outside of the Toronto Power Plant. She says that the garden combined four sensory gardens and that the idea for that project was caused by the question of a deaf child. In her opinion, the answers of adults impact the way children percept the surrounding world.
The photographer pays a lot of attention to feminism questions. In the Women series (1999 - 2001), she captured older women with their eyes closed and unusual female poses. April contrasts her works to portraits of beautiful young ladies meant for magazines that don’t show life experience and the history of generations.
In modern media, older women usually seem to be invisible and their experiences and values are underestimated by people. In her other works, she also questions the stereotypes related to women, both young and older, and modern society. One of the series of photos was a commissioned project for the Toronto base 10x10 Photography Project to commemorate the LGBT Canadians in the art sphere.
Over the years, Hickox has become a participant and inspirer of a few tens of exhibitions and installations and achieved great fame on the Toronto Islands and Canada.