15.5 – 9.6 2018
Martin Parr:Early Work, 1971-1986
15.05 – 09.06.2018
An exhibition showcasing early works by Martin Parr at Huxley-Parlour Gallery. In association with Rocket Gallery, the exhibition at Huxley-Parlour Gallery includes over 30 prints, with works on show taken from Parr’s early series, The Non-Conformists, Bad Weather, Beauty Spots, A Fair Day and his first colour series The Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton. The exhibition also includes a selection of rare, vintage prints.
This exhibition explores the roots of Parr’s artistic output, by displaying works from the first fifteen years of Parr’s career, predominantly lesser-known works produced in black and white. The bodies of work featured in the exhibition were made by Parr between 1971 and 1986. The exhibition will highlight the photographer’s transition from shooting in black and white in rural Northern England, to his seminal series The Last Resort, taken with colour film in the mid 1980s. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to see a selection of early works that showcase Parr’s characteristic wry humour and eye for well-composed, dynamic composition.
Highlights included in the exhibition are Parr’s first ever colour photograph, taken in 1971, and works from his first series, made in Hebden Bridge in the years immediately following Parr’s graduation for Manchester Polytechnic. These photograph capture a traditional community whose way of life, focused around farming, industry and the church, was in decline. Also included in the exhibition are works from Parr’s series, The Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton. This was Parr’s first project to show a move towards his now distinct personal style, combining bright colours and daylight flash.
B. United Kingdom 1952
Martin Parr’s distinctive style of photography captures the oddities and humours of everyday British life through a vibrantly coloured, hyper-realistic lens. At the beginning of the 1980s Parr’s work aimed to mirror the lifestyle of ordinary British people, reflecting the social decline and distress of the working class during the era of Margaret Thatcher. He earned an international reputation for his oblique approach to social documentary, and for innovative imagery. The Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton (1986) was Parr’s first project to show a move towards his now distinct personal style: bright colours and vivid images, gaining him the reputation as a renowned satirical photojournalist. Other of Parr’s series include Bad Weather (1982), Common Sense (1995-99), and Signs of the Times (1992).
Parr was born in Surrey in 1952, later studying Photography at Manchester Polytechnic. He has exhibited his work globally since 1974, including exhibitions at The National Portrait Gallery and The Photographer’s Gallery, London, The National Centre of Photography, Paris and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan. Parr is prolific in his output and has published over a hundred books of his own work. He has won many awards throughout his career including the Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Award, Photokina’s Eric Solomon Award for photojournalism and in 2017, Sony World Photography Award for Outstanding Contribution to Photography. Parr was the president of Magnum Photos between 2013 – 2017, and remains one of the country’s most popular photojournalists, contributing to a wide range of printed media. Parr founded the Martin Parr Foundation in 2014, opening its premises in Bristol in 2017. The Foundation holds Parr’s own archive, and is a centre for talks, screenings and events.
He lives and works in Bristol.