Martin Parr / Martin Parr Foundation opens in Bristol
“Post-war British documentary photograph continues to be under-appreciated and I wanted to make a small contribution to rectify this.” – Martin Parr
That ‘small contribution’, formally named the Martin Parr Foundation, has been opened in Bristol, and provides an exhibition space, a library, an archive. Access, education, acquisition, and research assembled in Bristol, under one roof. And what a roof! A roof that shelters invaluable collections and access to a wealth of photographic expertise and experience. A roof that tops the launch of a stunning project, the realisation of a dream many years gestating. And this is not the result of canny dealings with Arts Councils, of finessing the funding, but of one man’s hope and efforts and work, supported by an enthusiastic and dedicated team.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many British photographers in the same place at the same time,” said Martin Parr in his speech at the opening of the MPF. Many more who were not present in the room were present in another sense, by being represented in the prints collection. And in that atmosphere of collegiate friendship was a true sense that here was something exciting and perhaps more important than we can yet envisage.
British photographers and lovers of photography celebrate now; future generations may be infinitely grateful.
MARTIN PARR FOUNDATION
316 Paintworks, Arnos Vale, Bristol BS4 3AR
Open to the public from 25 October 2017.
Inaugural exhibition Black Country Stories: Martin Parr
Below: 20 October 2017 opening of Martin Parr Foundation. Martin Parr with Simon Baker (first curator of photography for the Tate) and Brett Rogers (The Photographers’ Gallery). Photo: Patricia Baker-Cassidy.