Crispin Hughes was born in London in 1959. He studied English at Cambridge University and Photography at the University of Westminster. In 1984 he co-founded Photofusion, one of the country’s leading photography galleries and education centres.
In the 1990s he began working extensively across Africa as a photojournalist covering conflicts in South Sudan, Rwanda, Angola and Somalia. He has worked for numerous aid agencies across Africa and Asia. He became a member of the picture agency Panos in 1990 and his work appears regularly in the national and international press.
Active consent is characteristic of his documentary photography of social issues, working with the people involved to make un-contrived but collaborative pictures.
Since 2005 he has collaborated with filmmaker Susi Arnott on a series of exhibitions about tidal spaces: Unquiet Thames at the Museum of London in Docklands examined urban, enclosed, tidal spaces along the Thames shoreline. The exhibition was one of Time Out’s twelve picks of the year. Stone Hole (2009 at Photofusion and Peninsula Arts) scrutinized the interiors of tidal sea caves. These large scale prints challenged conventions in art that link landscape with beauty and moral uplift.
Thames Tides (2016), a four-screen immersive projection using floating cameras, toured watery exhibition venues around London. Duck (2019 at The Bargehouse Gallery) continued the use of autonomous cameras to develop a random aesthetic concerned with anthropomorphism and point-of-view.
Since 2007 Crispin has been the photo-educator for the Through Positive Eyes project, a collaborative photo-storytelling project by 130 people living with HIV and AIDS in 10 cities around the world.
Duck. With Susi Arnott. A plastic duck locked in a tidal time-lapse selfie. London Experimental Film Festival, The Bargehouse Gallery.
Keepers. An indiscriminate catalogue of detritus on the Thames foreshore. The Bargehouse Gallery.
Bobby and Stillman. Art-science tidal collaboration with Dr Susi Arnott and Prof. Sofia Olhede at UCL.
Thames Tides. With Susi Arnott. Four-screen projections of tide rises in central London. Brunel Sinking Shaft, The Cinema Museum, Crossness Pumping Station, Bartlett School of Architecture.
Stone Hole. With Susi Arnott. Interiors of sea caves in North Cornwall at Photofusion and Peninsula Arts (2011).
Unquiet Thames. The underbelly of the Thames in central London at the Museum of London in Docklands. (Time Out’s no.1 critic’s choice. Feb – June 06).
Pressure Underground: Getting the Jubilee Line to Work. Exhibition at Photofusion Gallery and book.
Assured Tenants. Exhibition at the Candid Gallery, Islington.
Too Late for Dreams: conflict in South Sudan. Exhibition at Photofusion Gallery.
Leap of Faith. (with Chris Boot). Exhibition at The Photographers Gallery. Piece commissioned by David Chandler for The Invisible City.
Treatment (with Chris Boot) in Bodies of Experience. At Camerawork Gallery.
Work also exhibited at National Portrait Gallery, National Theatre, Impressions Gallery, Metro gallery, Cambridge Darkrooms, LSE etc.
Reportage across sub-Saharan Africa covering conflict, health, education and environment issues for Oxfam, The Red Cross, Cafod, Practical Action, the World Food Programme etc.
Photojournalistic work in the UK on social issues such as the climate crisis, migration, health, housing and homelessness, drugs. Current clients include The Economist, King’s College Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare, the London Fire Brigade, the Royal College of Anaesthetists, The University of Birmingham, Sussex University, The Open University, The University of East London.
Observer, Guardian, Economist, Time, Newsweek etc. Also numerous book covers, campaign posters etc.
Panos Pictures since 1990. Photofusion, a founder director (1983).
Guest lecturer at The London College of Communication, Kingston College of Art, Cheltenham School of Art, University of East London, Royal Free Hospital School of Opthalmology.
Photo-Educator for UCLA ‘Through Positive Eyes’ HIV participatory photography project in ten cities across the world.
Mentoring with Photovoice (‘New Londoners’ book and exhibition).
BA Photography, University of Westminster 1985.
BA Eng. Lit., University of Cambridge 1982.