Born in Dorset, Tom moved to Hackney in 1986 where he lived in squats for 16 years. He began studying photography when he was twenty-five, and graduated with first-class honours from the London College of Printing (now London College of Communication) in 1994. He received a Master's degree at the Royal College of Art, London, in 1997.
Tom then embarked on a two-year trip across Europe on a double decker bus, in which time he completed a series of portraits depicting his fellow travellers. His most recent work is a series of narratives that draw on scenes from urban east London and headlines from his local newspaper, the Hackney Gazette, using classical paintings for inspiration.
He has been awarded the Tredou Arts and Culture Award (1995), the Royal College of Art First Year Award for Best Photography (1996), the Royal College of Art Painter-Stainers Photography Prize (1997) and the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London (1998). He received the John Kobal Book Award in 2003 and his work has been shown in exhibitions throughout the world, including Dublin, New York, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Toronto and Tokyo. He was the first photographer to have a solo show at London's National Gallery: Tom Hunter: Living in Hell and Other Stories (2005-06).
Hunter currently lives and works in Hackney.
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