Tom Hunter – Trading Spaces


“Tom Hunter graduated from the London College of Printing in 1994. His degree show,‘The Ghetto’, a series of photographs and a model of Tom’s squatted neighbourhood, is now on permanent display in the Museum of London. Tom took his MA at the Royal College of Art,where, in 1996, he was awarded the Photography prize by Fuji Film for his series ‘Travellers’. In 1998 ‘Woman Reading a Possession Order’ from his series ‘Persons Unknown’, won the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery. In 1999 Tom’s series of the ‘Holly Street’ estate was exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery, London. In 2000 Tom’s ‘Life and Death in Hackney’ series, went on show at the White Cubegallery, then on to Manchester City Art Gallery. In 2006 Tom became the only artist to have a solo photography show at the National Gallery for his series ‘Living in Hell and Other Stories’, which talked about Hackney and its relationship to its local paper. One work was acquired for their collection and is now on permanent display. Tom has recently been commissioned by the Serpentine Gallery London, Channel 4, The Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of London and The Royal Shakespeare company all exhibiting exhibitions of new works both film and photography.”


Time Hunter is a London-based photographer who mainly works in the medium of photography. He studies at the London College of printing and was the first photographer to have a one man show at the National Gallery, London. His work has specialized into documentary photography looking at the life of the people in and around the Hackney area. His work has been shown internationally in many exhibitions and he is a widely recognized in the photographic industry.

Among series like “Persons Unknown”, “Life and Death in Hackney” and “Living in Hell and Other Stories” I also found the “Trading Spaces” series by Tom Hunter. As a photographer myself my eyes are always drawn to colour, which was the first reason why I was drawn to this particular series. When looking through the photographs you immediately get a sort of quiet feeling when looking into the shops and businesses that Hunter has given us an insight into. The way that the shopkeepers and employees are all stood so uniformed and “ready” for the photograph suggests a feeling of anticipation and waiting for that potential customer. As I have already mentioned before, the colours really drew me into the photographs; but when really looking at the colour it ‘s quite minimal in the way, and depressing in some with the greenish cast from the fluorescent lighting above. I think that these photographs in face look deeper into the lives of the shopkeepers and the employees that work in the businesses. The photographs themselves connect the community together.



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