This Engagement Talk features David Hurn (HonFRPS).
David Hurn has a longstanding international reputation as one of Britain’s most influential reportage/documentary photographers. It has been said “he deals with the significance of the mundane”.
“Life, as it unfolds in front of the camera, is full of so much complexity, wonder, and surprise that I find it unnecessary to create new realities. There is more pleasure, for me, in things as-they-are” – David Hurn
Born in the UK, but of Welsh descent, David Hurn is a self-taught photographer who began his career in 1955 having rejected a potential life in the army. Whilst a freelance photographer, he gained his early reputation with his reportage of the 1956 Hungarian revolution.
Hurn eventually turned away from coverage of current affairs preferring to take a more personal approach to photography. He returned to live in Wales in 1970 vowing to spend 30% of his photographic time documenting his home country, Wales, “paid or probably unpaid”.
An associate member of Magnum in 1965 he became a full member in 1967.
In 1973, he set up the famous School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales. He resigned in 1989.
Hurn is an avid collector of photography. He built his private collection of other peoples' work by swapping prints with them. In 2017 he donated 1500 of his photographs, and 700 of other peoples' photographs, to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.
His prints are acquired by many leading collectors and museums.
In 2021 he was the Lucie Awards Honoree for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Photography.
He continues to live in, and work from, his home in Tintern, Wales.
- Mark Phillips
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