The Darkness that Drives Me – photographer Bellamy Hunt
Featured last month (Loving your Leica), I’m delighted to showcase images from Bellamy Hunt’s new series ‘The Darkness that Drives Me’. These evocative shots take place on the streets of Tokyo, the city Hunt now calls his home. Embodying the sense of exploration (and occasional wonderment) we all feel as a stranger finding his feet upon new lands, Hunt’s work is ambiguously punchy.
The Darkness that Drives me
The Darkness project is a name that I have had running through my head for some time now. It is not darkness in a literal sense, more a melancholy and sometimes humorous view of the things that draw me to take up my camera. Tokyo has defined who I am over the last few years and that is an inescapable part of my character. Living as a foreigner in Tokyo can sometime be trying, but this city has given me love, heartbreak and the chance to live a life less ordinary. I think these are things I try to convey in my images.
Doing the darkness project has helped me to pull myself up and have more confidence in my work, which has always been a problem for me. I think that every piece of work that you do should give away a piece of you, be it your soul, your heart or your mind, and I feel like this project has done that for me.
About Bellamy: Born in Oxford in the UK, I was fortunate enough to go to a private school that allowed artistic freedom and encouraged expression. When I was about 12 years old I found my fathers SLR camera, a Minolta XG-7 (which I still have). I promptly stole this camera and used it daily until I went to college to study Art and photography. After Graduating from UCE on a Jewellery and Silversmithing degree, I quickly realized that I preferred photography, and decided to persue a career in that field, after a number of interviews for assistants positions I was given the opportunity to travel to Asia, which I seized immediately. That was 10 years ago and I have never looked back. I lived in a number of different countries until I arrived in Japan.
I quickly found myself doing a less than invigorating job and I put my camera down for a couple of years. One day a friend offered to sell me a digital SLR and I took it and found I still had the bug, although I lacked direction. Whilst living in Japan I was offered the chance to work for one of the oldest and most respected photography supply companies in Japan. This was a huge boost for me, as it helped with the language, connections and most of all creativity. Several of my co-workers were film buffs, and one day they presented me with another old Minolta! I was bitten again, and this time I decided to run with it properly and discover myself properly. Since then I have been shooting only film and mainly street photography. Now I shoot exclusively Leica and I love the speed, ease and they unobtrusiveness of the cameras.