Aug 21, 2012, 5:00 AM EDT
Both anti’s and hunters are alarmed at his startling photos, so I asked David what he is trying to get across. David recalled a powerful photo he observed in Art College of a new bride instinctively smiling when she saw the camera all while waiting to receive the body of her husband who had drowned during their honeymoon. David said: “That said a lot to me about the power of the camera. Imagine the difference in this work ‘hunters’ if all the subjects of it were grinning broadly at the camera? In my opinion that wouldn’t leave space for the viewer to judge the work, and the subject, but just confirm any preconceived ideas about hunting that the viewer may have. The pictures aren’t morbid, they’re powerful, and in this form they draw the viewer in, rather than instantly repulse. They want to know more. That is the point of this work. I think EVERY hunter knows how easy it would have been for me to show all the negatives and none of the positives of the hunting industry. I hope I’ve managed to walk a line between both camps.”
Which prompted me to ask what his intentions are: “The larger body of work is looking at human-wildlife conflict in all its forms. ‘Hunters’ are obviously involved in that conflict. In some cases possibly the solution, in others possibly not.”
I then asked David why he’s a vegetarian: “I don’t eat meat because I don’t feel physically comfortable having eaten meat, something to do with my blood group.” Which provoked further remark from David: “Is a vegetarian then obviously anti-hunting? That’s a bit dumb isn’t it?” So very true! Even though I don’t eat much red meat myself, I stereotyped a ‘vegetarian’ as a bunny-hugger; how very ignorant of me.
If you’re going to illustrate the hunt through photos, the ‘kill’ is a miniscule part of it –David wants to depict our journey as Hunters and I stand behind his efforts. Would you help to fund the launching of his book Hunters or are you against how hunters are portrayed within?
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