The Martin Parr Exhibition: Return to Manchester opened at the Manchester Art Gallery on November 16.

Manchester Art Gallery has been home to the most magnificent pieces of art and contemporary pieces for the last 200 years from artists local and further afield. One artist whose work will be joining the gallery is Martin Parr: a photographer who enjoys to capture pieces emphasising the “friendliness” of the Manchester area.

For 40 years, Martin Parr has astounded viewers with his artistic portrayal of the Mancunian life. Now he has returned to Manchester with a new range of art work. A portrait of the city and its people; focusing on their daily lives in 2018.


The exhibition itself will feature a collection of Parr’s Manchester photographs spanning from the start of his interest in the 1970’s to his current publications.

“I remember arriving into Manchester in 1970, having traveled from the safety of suburban Surrey. It was exciting and felt very real. Having been a regular visitor to the Bradford area to stay with my grandparents, I had tasted the North and always liked the friendliness and sense of community that was so difficult to find in Surrey.” This statement taken from the Manchester Art Gallery website, shows how Martin Parr views his work as well as how his work captures his feelings towards the city.

In 2008, Martin Parr was commissioned by The Guardian to document 10 British cities including Manchester. Within this document, he captured images of areas like Eccles, The Trafford Centre, the Northern Quarter and even Salford Quays.

His work features a range of mixed media. From the black and white photos of June Street, Salford in 1972 to the colour photos of people shopping in 1986 and 2008. Parr’s work shows how the lives of Mancunians have changed, yet still shows how there remains continuity in how we live.

June Street was the work of art that Parr created that gave the Salford community a clear identity compared to other cities in Britain. Parr captured people in their own environments – their homes – which documented the value of family life in Salford and how close the community was from the 1970’s onwards.

This project prompted Parr’s fascination with the every day life within the Salford and Manchester area, a recurring reason that helps to show why he has returned 40 years later.

Natasha Howes, the curator of the exhibition, said: “I think the new commission is just brilliant because it really brings all this work up to date and you get to compare and contrast between the different periods.”

The new commission is now available for viewing in the Martin Parr: Return to Manchester exhibition.

The exhibition will be open until April 22 2019 at the Manchester Art Gallery. Martin Parr also has his own website featuring his favourite and current works.

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