I swapped with David Hurn!

I feel honoured to have been invited by David Hurn to swap a print with him. David has been swapping prints with some incredible Magnum photographers throughout his long and illustrious career - and he has a huge collection of swapped prints. This is a real highlight of my photography career so far. Pictured below are the swapped prints - David is holding the photo he chose of mine, and I am holding my chosen print. His swapped prints collection is on display at National Museum Cardiff.


David Hurn says:


"Becoming a photographer was seemingly by chance - if I had been better qualified I would have been either an archaeologist or a vet - in my time to go to university to deal with animals you had to have Latin as a main subject. I have no qualifications.

What I do know was that shortly after calling myself a photographer I met Sergio Larrain, he was the first photographer I met who took pictures that I wished I had taken. This was 1959. To all intent and purpose there were no photography galleries then - in fact the first gallery in both England and USA was not really until the early 70’s- one could possibly argue a few years before or after - the importance is that, no gallery - no art. Photographs value came from whether a picture editor wished to publish, the actual print was simply valued at the price of printing - I expect then about £1 a picture. I did what seems to have been impossibly unusual for that time, I asked Sergio if I could have some of his prints. He gave me some - I persevered, knocked on the front door of Bill Brandt and ended up with some prints of his - I reiterate photographs had no intrinsic value in the art market. I suspect photographers were flattered to be asked. It meant you appreciated what they did.

I guess I had become a collector. Why? Was it simply owning something I thought beautiful, produced by someone I highly admired and that maybe the being able to handle the product gave me some link to the originator? I kept at it, firstly simply asking, later when I had more success and confidence in myself, by swapping. But right from the start I always asked for specific prints, maybe luck trait, but it produced a collection with authorship."

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BILLIE CHARITY
photographer