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Stuart was born in Newcastle 1977. He studied at the Northern Media School where he gained a Masters degree in Screen Arts. Upon completion, Stuart embarked on his first expedition with fellow student and friend Pandula. On a shoestring budget and completely unpaid, they travelled to the Tamil Tiger controlled regions of Northern Sri Lanka in an attempt to tell the story of the civil war that had raged for over twenty years, and give voice to the 500,000 refugees displaced by the conflict; a true baptism by fire, professionally. Since then Stuart has become a multi-award-winning photographer and filmmaker. His assignments have taken him around the world, photographing a wide range of topics, from critically endangered animals to remote tribes. He regularly works for the prestigious BBC Natural History Unit, as well as National Geographic and Discovery Channel, filming internationally acclaimed documentaries that are screened to audiences across the globe.
Stuart Dunns’ Only Us is an exceptional photographic celebration of humanity, with 160 pages of portraits of people from around the globe taken during the course of his career as a celebrated documentary filmmaker and photographer. An appropriate alternate title might be “all of us”, for all human life, from all areas of the world, is laid bare here - an incubated baby in Sheffield. Ugandan night fishermen at work. Thai monks on laundry day. Tanzanian hunter-gatherers. Canadian rangers protecting polar bears. A Newcastle native outside a pub. Having said that, the “Only Us” title perfectly captures Dunns’ recognition that “amongst the incredible diversity that we inhabit, our lives are surprisingly similar. From the mundane to the dramatic, we all go through it… There has never really been ‘Us and ‘Them’; there is ‘Only Us’”. And this outward-looking, inclusive global perspective on humanity permeates every image, each of which really is worth a thousand words. Each of them prompts questions, invites the viewer to consider the lives of the people depicted. They summon stories. While the accompanying copy contextualises the images, noting where they were taken and who’s featured, with occasional fascinating personal anecdotes, Dunns’ words leave space for personal contemplation. Some are close-up portraits, focussing on faces, with the subjects’ eyes and expressions revealing emotional states we all recognise and relate to. Others take a step back and show people at home, at work, or in their natural landscapes, from Arctic tundra to Omani deserts. And all of them lay bare our shared human experiences, prompting empathy, and a stirring sense of interconnection.