Tom Hunter is an English photographer whose luminous work often traces visions of life in his East London community, from the squatter neighbourhoods of the nineties to the its curious relationship with the arts and the press today.
Hackney is littered with veneers of a bygone era of grandeur and statements, interwoven with people washed ashore, mixing up cultures and architecture, creating worlds within worlds, showing glimpses of a life I never imagined whilst planting trees for the Forestry Commission in Dorset. But my connection with Hackney was born, as if I was one of the 123,909 live births recorded at the Mother’s hospital, and a life’s journey started.
It is this mixing of cultures, architectures, people and histories that has so captivated me and held me in the arms of Hackney. Every building has a thousand tales to tell and in this book I’ve tried to tell a few. Whilst my subject has always been Hackney the influences behind my art practice are found in the work of Johannes Vermeer, the Pre-Raphaelites and latterly a whole raft of art historical paintings. This came as a complete surprise to me as a young upstart striving for social justice in a squat in Hackney. While looking for a radical approach to my art I found revolutionary artists in the most traditional of art forms.