This year’s Master of Photography is the legendary British photographer Martin Parr, who presents an exhibition of new images taken in the UK, continuing a project that he has been working on for the past half century.
This year’s Master of Photography is the legendary British photographer Martin Parr, who presents an exhibition of new images taken in the UK, continuing a project that he has been working on for the past half century:
“For over 50 years now I have been photographing in Britain and Ireland and have built a comprehensive archive of my time here, which has been further broken down into different chapters. These range from early black and white images of a mental hospital, to the Chinese
community in Liverpool and Manchester. When I changed to shooting in colour, I started by depicting a working class resort adjacent to Liverpool, and subjects such as shopping in Salford and the middle classes of Bath and Bristol. More recently I have documented the
establishment, with projects on Oxford University and the Livery companies of London.
“Presented here at Photo London are recent images that have not been shown before, mostly taken very recently and show highlights from my ongoing documentation of the British Isles. Many familiar subjects are found here such as my long fascination with the British seaside and the ongoing documenting of agricultural shows and summer fetes. New discoveries are always being made such as the wonderful steam fair in Dorset or the half marathon in Bristol.
“I think of these images as an interpretation of the many mixed emotions I feel towards my homeland. It is almost a love/hate relationship, and I find addressing this is almost a form of therapy for me.
“To complement this show is a grid of images taken from my Beach Therapy project. With my ongoing fascination with the seaside this is a set of images taken with a telephoto lens, where I explore distant figures on the beach, usually with out of focus greenery in the foreground. Although each is an individual work, they become a fascinating grid when put together.
“Finally, there are half a dozen photo deckchairs, again shot on the beach, to give people a chance to contemplate the work they have just seen.”
—Martin Parr, 2023
With 110 exhibitors coming from 55 cities across five continents, Photo London 2023 shows the very best of the past, present and future of photography worldwide. ‘Martin Parr: Recent Works’ leads the Photo London 2023’s Public Programme. It is accompanied by the group show ‘Writing her own Script: Women Photographers from the Hyman Collection’ and the Photo London Talks Programme curated by Aperture, which will feature a talk by Parr.
Photo London’s Co-Founders Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad comment:
“Martin Parr is quite rightly regarded as the godfather of British photography. It is no exaggeration to say that without Martin Parr’s exemplary practice today’s British photography scene would be much impoverished. It would certainly be a great deal less fun. He has been an unstinting and generous champion of young and overlooked photographers and through the work of the Foundation that he set up in 2020 (check) he has worked tirelessly to make photography accessible to all. In all this Martin’s work aligns perfectly with our own and we are thrilled to present him as our 2023 Master of Photography.”
Image : Martin Parr, Great Dorset Steam Fair, Dorset, England, 2022 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos / Rocket Gallery
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