When David Hurn (of Welsh descent but born in England) moved to Wales in 1970, he set about photographing the country. An old school documentary photographer, Hurn describes his approach as lacking an agenda: “I just go and involve myself in what’s happening and try to discover for myself what I think is significant about that particular place. I try to be open-minded about it. I’m not a propagandist about it, I’m not trying to put forward a particular view of Wales.”

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
© David Hurn | Magnum Photos

A self-taught photographer, David Hurn (b.1934) began his career in 1955 as an assistant at the Reflex Agency. He gained his early reputation through his reportage of the 1956 Hungarian revolution and became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1967.

In 1973 he set up the influential School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales and remained director until 1989. In 1997 he collaborated with Professor Bill Jay on the landmark book On Being a Photographer. Hurn’s book Wales: Land of My Father most reflects his style and creative impetus.

His work is held in major collections around the world. David Hurn continues to live and work in Tintern, Wales.

© David Hurn | Magnum Photos

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