SOAS University of London

Tim Hetherington, Vital Structures, 2008

During his travels in UAE and Yemen, Tim became fascinated with marginal or transitional places - the new, and unlikely, sites of wealth and commerce. An inhospitable and arid valley in the emirate of Fujairah becomes a luxuriant university campus; the Yemeni coastal plain – currently a militarised zone - is the putative location for a bridge spanning the Bab al-Mandeb, where the development of a new Gulf-style free-trade zone is proposed. Also rather than looking at iconic architecture, he found himself drawn to ordinary structures. Islam, water and oil have informed the development of the region, and are essential to modern Arab life, yet mosques, petrol-stations, cisterns and towers - the everyday receptacles of the prayer, fuel, and water - are so habitual that their details usually go un-noticed. Tim found an inherent style invested in these most prosaic of buildings, and in his images he reinstates their glamour. 

Tim Hetherington was born in 1970 in Liverpool, UK. He is currently based in New York.