Martin Parr: Return to Manchester

Martin Parr: Return to Manchester
Library Shelf Location 18.PARR
Publication Date 2018

Martin Parr is endlessly curious about how we all live our lives. He has developed an international reputation for his colourful photographs which capture our times – whether it is the food we eat, the fashions we wear, what we buy or our leisure activities. His images present the familiar in a new and wry way.

Starting his career in Manchester, Parr studied at Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University) from 1970-73. The city had a profound effect on him as it was so different from his childhood home in suburban, affluent Surrey. It sparked his curiosity about people’s lives, what it is to live in a Northern, largely working class and diverse city and he embraced his new context with enthusiasm. After his tutor’s intervention which stopped him being expelled from the Polytechnic after his first year, he began making cohesive documentary projects which explored a particular subject. One of the first of these was Prestwich Mental Hospital in 1972 where he spent three months photographing the patients and their surroundings.

Parr has revisited the city many times over the last 40 years to document the lives of Mancunians. The exhibition brings together a selection of Parr’s Manchester photographs. Ranging from black and white images of June Street, Salford in 1972 and Yates Wine Lodges in 1982-3, to colour photos of people shopping in 1986 and 2008, his work shows how the lives of Mancunians have changed but also how there is continuity in how we live.

Manchester Art Gallery commissioned Parr to make a new body of work – a portrait of the city and its people in 2018. Parr has made a number of recent visits to Manchester, meeting people shopping, in hairdressers, in Mosques, in cafes, at markets, in factories, at parties, playing sport and in the gay village. He has captured scientists doing ground-breaking research at Manchester University, fans of the city’s world famous football teams and the state of the art facilities at the BBC in Media City. The images reveal the diversity and inclusive nature of our city and the breadth of activity which takes place. They uncover people’s passions, skills, relationships, quirks – celebrating the humanity of the everyday. A selection of these prints will enter the gallery’s collection.

This catalogue to accompany the exhibition includes black and white images of Prestwich Mental Hospital in 1972, Yates’s Wine Lodges 1982-3, colour Point of Sale photographs from 1986 and the Guardian Cities Project in 2008 as well as from the 2018 new commission.

ISBN 9780901673978
Quantity 1
Format Hardback
Publisher Manchester Art Gallery
Related Artist Martin Parr
Categories Photography, Artist (relating to a single artist/collaborative team)
Keyword Documentary photography
Related City/Region Manchester
Related Gallery Manchester Art Gallery

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