“Over a Christmas Dinner, 2008 in England, sitting on the right from to the head of the table, wearing a dinner suit, whilst being served by the butler of the house, I was proposed the idea to joining a family ritual, a Boxing Day Hunt and told not to forget to bring my camera…
The outcome of my one role of film was the momentum for this series. From this point onwards throughout the following five years I was allowed to paint in my mind’s eye the many images that created the compilation of this book HIDDEN.”
South East Norway
Michael Tumming’s series “Hidden” is a photographic study of a group of people and their culture going beyond the portraiture of individuals and presenting them as a kind of tribe. Tummings has followed the hunt throughout Europe (England, Romania, Spain, Germany,…) over five years. Travelling widely in season, the hunts he experienced were social events.
“With the patience, skill and timing of a man with a gun crouched behind a tree Tummings has unpacked a hidden world of tradition and privilege in quick and telling shots to the heart.”
(Alison Nordström, Curator-at-Large, George Eastman House, Rochester)
HIDDEN by Michael Tummings
95 pages, 49,90 €/ USD 65
41 color illustrations/ 8 b/w
3 Essays German/English
Hardcover 24 x 30 cm, 9.45 x 11.8 inch
Published by Kehrer Verlag, Germany
With his 4 x 5 camera he gained a privileged perspective on the “species”, shooting moments of introspection, elation, concentration and even boredom. The images reveal an uncanny skill in capturing precise sensations of telling moments – often expressed by the synecdoche of color.
The subject of “Hidden” produces controversial reactions and the photo series tells not only one story but offers many readings with its underlying romantic, naturalistic, mystical and socio-analytical components.
Michael Tummings has created his first figurative work, “Huntsman I”, in collaboration with the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg. Working closely with the master workshops for over a year, the Jamaican artist examined the historical hunting figures from the Nymphenburg repertoire in depth, and thus created a contemporary interpretation.
Michael Tumming's Huntersman Figure
“Michael Tummings is certainly to be seen in the tradtion of artists that stand for Nymphenburg Porzellan.
Similar to the master pieces of Franz Anton Bustelli the huntsman is communicating to us only via body language – but completely different: Whereas in the “Commedia dell’ Arte exuberance and dainteness prevail, Tummings succeeded in giving the white bisque virility and nonchalance. This is equally stunning and captivating.
Above all the figurine is fascinating by representing an archetype of the “homo collector venator” – with its many small details, that it only reveals to the viewer when he approaches it again and again from all sides.”
(Sven Kielgas, Art Collector, Munich)
The Collaboration with Nymphenburg
“With entering Nymphenburg Porzellan, I felt like I’d tapped into a world that is so off the grid. Where mastery of the uncontrollable is still a fine line. Which is so unlike the fast pace of today, where the association to finer details seems to be like shards of porcelain to be brushed away.”
“The inspiration for this piece has its roots in my youth. Being a child to Jamaican immigrants I have always been attracted by statues of austere characters all around London. To me they were symbols of social status, proudness, strength and being upstanding. In my time with the hunting family I found that these men represent the same strong qualities.“ (Michael Tummings)
Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory
…is the porcelain manufactory of the Bavarian crown. The noble art of porcelain-making has been cultivated here since its founding in 1747. Even now, manu factum means in Nymphenburg what it always did – completely handmade, using techniques passed on and preserved from generation to generation.
This is the only way to assure the unrivalled fineness, subtlety and brilliance of porcelain that Nymphenburg’s global reputation is based on. The manufactory’s master workshops produce avantgarde and tailor-made designs from four centuries, created right up to the present day by the most distinguished artists, architects and designers.
“My curiosity was always less about pursuing hunting as an act of killing, and more about following a group which possesses a kind of timeless manner in the midst of these hectic tick-tock times: traditional, nature-driven, ritualistic, emotional, familial, communal, archaic, in the moment. It’s the anthropologist in me who wants to dig deeper and understand, open-minded and without judgment, what it means to walk the path of one’s ancestors.”
Michael Tummings is a photographer, born 1966 to Jamaican immigrants in London. He has been travelling the planet since the age of 17 and is currently based in Munich, Germany.
Tummings art photography focuses on portraiture of individuals representing social groups and tribes.