Photographers

Martin Parr

Martin Parr was born in Surrey in 1952, having an interest in photography from a young age. He studied the subject at Manchester Polytechnic between 1970 and 1973, since then he has developed an international reputation working on a number of photographic projects. He is well known for his innovative style and documentary photography.

His work is a reaction to the subdued, black and white photography of the early eighties. Using a medium-format camera, flash and colour film Martin Parr took photographs of declining seaside resorts and British holidaymakers. These pictures were unforgiving and there was no sense of nostalgia about them; they were a pure, contemporary insight into modern life. The photographs earned Martin Parr his reputation as a renowned British photographer, taking photographs with a new vision.

Themes relevant to contemporary society outline Martin Parr’s work: mass consumption, tourism, mass marketing and global homogenization. Instead of concentrating on the deprived, underfed and poor as so many photojournalists did at the time, Parr looked at Britain: the overindulged and over-stimulated. His instantly recognizable style highlights this with clever composition and highly saturated colour.

In 1994 Martin Parr became a full member of Magnum Photographic Corporation and has recently broadened his photographic spectrum to work in fashion and advertising. We are premiering a selection of Martin Parr’s work, which is especially relevant to us situated in Cornwall, living near the beautiful North Cornish coast – it is a series of photographs taken during the Eclipse in Cornwall, 1999 alongside shots taken in and around Padstow harbour.