Preview: Public Spaces, Public Stages- Tom Hunter

Following on from the well-received contribution made to the National Gallery with ‘Seduced by Art Photography Past and Present’ – which saw Tom Hunter become the first photographer to have a one-man show at the Gallery – a new series of photographs is to be unveiled on 22 February at the Print House Gallery. Titled ‘Public Spaces, Public Stages’ Hunter’s photographs were all taken in the borough of Hackney, home, fittingly, to the gallery that will exhibit them.

Talking about his new exhibition Hunter said: “These photographs are earthly. Here the word evokes the inter-relatedness of the environment to the life that takes place within it. Physical human situations, stories, people and places in-between. I have sought to express and explore a self-reflection and quietness through which one might transcend the immediate realities, pressures and distractions of contemporary urban society.”

Choosing to use the pinhole technique for his collection of east London photos Hunter explained why he chose this method: “My choice to make these photographs with a pinhole camera is critical. The pinhole camera is an arcane technology, the most rudimentary of interventions with allusions to the pre and early history of photography. The pinhole camera has no shutter. It makes no sound. Its mechanism; the action of light ‘seeping in’ has the quality of absorbing not grabbing.”

The exhibition being held in the Print House Gallery is not just fitting because of the location in where the photos were taken, but because the decision to showcase Hunter’s work exemplifies the social conscience adopted by the gallery. As well as being a commercial gallery space Print House also works hard with the local community in developing creative talent by engaging with charity based organisations and education programmes.

Tom Hunter’s ‘Public Spaces, Public Stages’ will open on 22 February and will run until 25 March. Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, entry will be free.

Words: James Massoud