If you’re an animal lover it’s highly likely you’ll find these images upsetting. The bloodied carcasses of slaughtered beasts have a habit of turning the stomachs of even the most committed carnivore, but David Chancellor’s portraits of hunters in various parts of Africa are also remarkably compelling, inviting us to witness a ritualistic and deeply personal pursuit that very few will ever have experienced.
At the start of the 20th Century hunting was a popular pursuit for the privileged white classes across east Africa, with tourists coming from Europe and the USA to pit themselves against all manner of wildlife. Since then our relationship with bloodsports has diminished vastly and the sight of men, women and children smeared red, kill draped from their shoulders, holds different connotations.
Whatever your opinion of hunting as a passtime there’s no denying that Hunters is a stunning body of ongoing work by a truly talented portrait photographer – one of the shots even won the Taylor Wessing portrait prize in 2010. If you’d like to see them in the flesh they’re be on show at the Jack Bell Gallery until November 10.
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