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Photograph - Woman Reading a Possession Order

Woman Reading a Possession Order

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Hackney (made)

  • Date:

    1997 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hunter, Tom (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Dye destruction print (Ilfochrome)

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased through the Cecil Beaton Royalties Fund

  • Museum number:

    E.407-1998

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Tom Hunter's work often depicts groups of people with housing problems, including squatters, council house tenants and caravan-dwellers, in a positive light. This photograph is from a series of images of a squatter's community in Hackney, East London. It won the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award in 1998 and has been exhibited widely. The composition echoes Vermeer's painting Woman Reading a Letter at an Open Window, 1657.

Physical description

Photograph of a woman reading a possession order at a window. A baby is lying in the foreground.

Place of Origin

Hackney (made)

Date

1997 (made)

Artist/maker

Hunter, Tom (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Dye destruction print (Ilfochrome)

Dimensions

Height: 591 mm image, Width: 492 mm image, Height: 600 mm frame, Length: 408 mm frame

Object history note

'Woman Reading a Possession Order is from the series 'Persons Unknown', 1997. The image appears with the original summons. The series was produced by Hunter during his final year at the Royal College of Art.

Historical significance: This photograph is from a series based on a squatting community in Hackney, London. It won the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award in 1998 and has been exhibited widely. The composition echoes the painting by Jan Vermeer 'Woman Reading a Letter at an Open Window', 1657.

Descriptive line

Hunter, Tom. 'Woman Reading a Possession Order' from the series 'Persons Unknown', 1997. Dye destruction print.

Labels and date

Making It Up: Photographic Fictions (2008)

Hunter’s depictions of contemporary people living in precarious urban conditions often make reference to historical paintings. He based this composition, from a series on London squatters, on Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window (1657–9) by Johannes Vermeer. The copy of the actual eviction notice that accompanies the photograph sharply asserts the reality behind the carefully staged picture.

Marta Weiss []

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

Silver-dye bleach process

Subjects depicted

Housing; Infants; Women

Categories

Photographs; Interiors; Household objects

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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