Somerset

Don McCullin photographs on show at Bruton art gallery

The main hospital, Phnom Penh. The wounded soldier would have been killed subsequently by the Khmer Rouge. 1975 Image copyright Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
Image caption The hospital in Phnom Penh in 1975 showed a wounded soldier who would have been later killed by the Khmer Rouge

A collection of war photographs by celebrated UK photojournalist Don McCullin have gone on display.

The exhibition details Mr McCullin's career covering conflicts around the world as well as images of the Somerset countryside where he lives.

Mr McCullin said: "I know about war, it's a thing I understand. Some of the photos are tough to look at."

The work on display includes his earliest assignment of covering gang activity in North London in 1958.

'Naturalness and farming'

Most notably, he went on to cover the Vietnam war, and the fall of Phnom Penh to Khmer Rouge forces, in Cambodia in 1975.

Image copyright Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
Image caption Mr McCullin spends the winter in Somerset to focus on his landscape photography
Image copyright Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
Image caption This photograph was taken in Congo in 1964, of suspected freedom fighters who supported the country's first prime minister, before their execution

Mr McCullin was an evacuee during the Blitz, which took him to Somerset, where he has lived since 1972.

He said: "Somerset was always in my heart and many many years later... it's where I belong.

"It's not one of the so-called 'royal counties' so therefore it's a place where people went belting through to get to their Cornish or Devon holiday.

"It was a county that was left alone, so it retained its naturalness and farming communities."

During the winter months, he focuses on his landscape photography, but has also taken assignments more recently in Aleppo, Syria.

'Change world'

Speaking of his war photos, he said: "I don't want people to come away feeling negative because some are tough to look at.

"I want people to go away and change all these horrible things that are going on in the world, I want it to change.

Image copyright Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
Image caption The exhibition will run until the end of January in Bruton
Image copyright Don McCullin/Contact Press Images
Image caption It shows Don McCullin's first assignments covering North London gangs in 1958

"We want to hand down to our grandchildren a better world and a better future."

Hauser and Wirth Somerset art gallery, has attracted some 160,000 visitors since it opened in Bruton last July.

The firm also has galleries in New York, Zurich and London and its new gallery is due to open in Los Angeles next year.

The exhibition will run until 31 January 2016.

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