Tom Hunter’s enigmatic photographs show the borough in a new light.

ImageThe Assembly Hall, Stoke Newington. Photograph: Tom Hunter

An exhibition of Hackney street photography taken with a giant homemade pinhole camera is on show at the Print House Gallery in Dalston.

In Public Spaces, Public StagesTom Hunter interprets spaces ‘removed from commercialisation and sanitisation’.

On entering the exhibition it becomes apparent that Hunter’s photographs are less about speed and motion than they are about length. Light is always eminent with every part over-exposed.

Hunter’s approach embraces an iconoclastic, DIY sensibility. He said:

“People are always talking about expensive cameras and what lens they are using. I wanted to slow down and forget about camera brands, to use something organic which filters light, rather than capturing people.”

Exploring deviating surroundings, ‘Hackney Cut’ balances a naked woman and a bald man, marooned on a blow up dingy in an astro-turf of algae in the River Lea. Elsewhere, Hunter’s peep hole peers in on a time-shifted reality of a dimly lit working men’s club. Somehow they don’t feel like prints, but you really have to step inside this intimately spaced exhibition to feel its full effect and appreciate the more enigmatic elements on display.

Hunter has exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at White Cube, London, and the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York. But following his contribution to the exhibition Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present exhibition at the National Gallery earlier in the year, he has now returned home to familiar climes with this exhibition in East London.

Diane Arbus once famously said:

“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.”

In discovering these broadly prosocial photographs of the borough, one can’t help but agree.

Public Spaces, Public Stages
Until 25 March 2013
Open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday
Free entry
Print House Gallery
18 Ashwin Street
E8 3DL


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