Martin Parr

Martin : “We’re very bad at actually photographing our own lives.”


Join internationally renowned Magnum photographer Martin Parr and author Susie Parr in conversation with Greg Hobson, curator of Only in England.

The event will focus on Parr’s early work The Non-Conformists, which was taken in Hebden Bridge during the 1970s, where Martin and Susie documented what they saw as a traditional way of life in decline.

Martin will also discuss one of the great influences on his work – Tony Ray-Jones – and why he is revisiting The Non-Conformists now.

As part of the event there will be a Q&A session with a live Twitter feed. Send in your questions for Martin and Susie via Twitter prior to and during the event. All answers will be tweeted live from the floor.

Please tweet your questions to @mediamuseum and include the hashtag #Parr.

Following the event there will be a unique opportunity to purchase and have signed a range of titles by Martin Parr including his recent publication The Non-Conformists.

The Non-Conformists has not been exhibited in Yorkshire since 1981 and will be on display as part of Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr from 27 March 2014.

Tweets from the event!

“It’s good. We’re all bored of the sheen&gloss of propaganda,it’s so unconvincing.” MartinParr on the authenticity trend in ads @mediamuseum

Photography student said 24 of 30 class mates never go to exhibitions, only viewing work online. They are missing so much! #Parr

Martin #Parr: “If people don’t want to see exhibitions, I’m ultimately disappointed” – nothing better than getting up close seeing the real thing 

@King_of_Swing He stated that whilst the rise of amateur photography via social media was a good thing in and of itself…most photographers who take images do so of cliched things. He believed most “selfie” photography to be uninspired.

Martin #Parr@mediamuseum says we are very bad at photographing everyday moments in our everyday lives despite our desire for #authenticity

Martin #Parr: “We’re very bad at actually photographing our own lives.”

Susie #Parr: “I think it’s very lazy to accuse Martin of cynicism. He’s much more subtle than pointing and laughing.”

Martin #Parr: “I’m delighted by the way photography has taken off through social media”

Martin #Parr on the rise of Instagram: “The most democratic art-form in the world has more followers than ever before”

Martin #Parr: “I’m now back to documenting.. and celebrating the local community and finding stories”

Martin #Parr: “Despite the fact I have this reputation as a cynical photographer, I really like people”


I saw this event ages ago and so glad I did. I have admired Martin Parr’s work for some time. I was first introduced to his work when I was studying at university. When I saw this I was so excited. I managed to get a couple of books to take and sign and was hoping to find a postcard of the hotdog he took but instead I got my ticket signed by both him and Susie parr.

On Friday night, being a bit of a chicken I posted a tweet to ask him and a question. On the screen to the right of his slideshow was a ‘tweet stream’ and half way through the talk mine popped up and stayed there for the rest of the duration and  when the questions were being asked I was too scared to put my hand up until the question lady asked if I was there.  I could have hid and said nothing but I put my hand up and she gave me the microphone and I went crimson. I could feel I had gone bright red. I asked him about how we’ve taken off with taking photos of food and posting it on Instagram to be acceptable and he said he quite liked it, He said the art of photography is knowing what you’re trying to say, communicate otherwise others won’t know, if you don’t so have an idea of what you want to say. I was then cheeky enough (as I slid further into my seat) to ask him how he gets away with taking pictures of people and not get spotted or glared at. He replied, ‘I bet you look guilty when someone catches your eye when you’re taking photographs’. I just smiled and he said ‘The trick is not to look guilty and to look away’ or as Susie said look away or somewhere else so they don’t realise what you’re doing’.  He smiled the whole time he talked to me and I just sank starstruck. Thank you Twitter for making me brave.

Go see the exhibition at the amazing media museum and get a close-up look at some amazing photography pieces 

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/yorkshire-living/arts/art/the-big-interview-photographer-martin-parr-1-6536526

http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/PlanAVisit/Exhibitions/OnlyInEngland/DiscoverMore.aspx

The museum is on twitter but Martin Parr sadly isn’t. https://twitter.com/mediamuseum

Links to exhibition

Galleries One and Two: 28 March – 29 June 2014

Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr examines the close relationship between the work of these two important photographers and their fascination with the English.

Intrigued by the eccentricities of English social customs, Tony Ray-Jones spent the latter half of the 1960s travelling across England, photographing what he saw as a disappearing way of life.

Humorous yet melancholy, these images had a profound influence on photographer Martin Parr, who has made a selection from our Tony Ray-Jones archive for this exhibition including over 50 previously unseen photographs.

Parr’s selection will be shown alongside his rarely seen work, The Non-Conformists, which documents a declining traditional way of life in 1970s Hebden Bridge.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/10287046/Englishness-celebrated-by-Tony-Ray-Jones-and-Martin-Parr.html

Thank you for reading – from a starstruck Helen

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