UWE photography students to benefit from partnership with Bristol’s new Martin Parr Centre

The Martin Parr Foundation, which last month opened its new centre for British photography in Bristol, has launched a collaborative partnership with UWE for its photography degree courses.

Named after Martin Parr, one of the most significant documentary photographers of post-war Britain, the centre at Paintworks includes a photography studio, gallery, library and archive centre. 

It will be open to the public on a regular basis and will also house many of Martin Parr’s images.

Staff and students on UWE’s MA and BA photography programmes will work closely with the Foundation over the coming years, including cooperating on jointly-hosted artist talks, events, workshops and seminars as well as offering students the opportunity to contribute to photographic culture at a local, national and international level.

An annual exhibition curated by and featuring the work of MA photography programme will be hosted by the gallery, providing postgraduate students with an extraordinary opportunity to gain exposure and experience on a prominent international stage.

UWE photography students will also have access to the Foundation’s exceptional and ever-expanding library of British and Irish photographic books for research purposes. They will also have access to its archive centre, which houses Martin Parr’s extraordinary collection of post-war documentary photography relating to the British Isles, including rare prints, book maquettes, correspondences and related objects and ephemera.

Martin Parr, acclaimed internationally for his innovative imagery, his approach to social documentary and his contribution to photographic culture, will offer an annual masterclass to MA students, providing invaluable insight and guidance based on his unprecedented knowledge of photography, and his four decades’ worth of experience at its forefront.

He said: “I am very pleased that the Martin Parr Foundation will be collaborating with UWE”, says Parr. We are very happy to be giving UWE students the chance to view and study our collections in depth, and are excited to have the opportunity to showcase the work of the newly-formed MA photography course on our gallery walls.”

MA photography course leader Aaron Schuman added: “Martin Parr is genuinely one of the most important and influential figures in photography – not only today, but ever.

“His unwavering commitment and extraordinary contributions to photographic knowledge, practice and culture have proved invaluable to the advancement of the medium within the 21st century, and have provided incredible insight into previously underappreciated and unexplored aspects of its long, expansive and diverse history.

“The establishment of the Martin Parr Foundation further emphasises his true dedication and inspiring devotion to photographic education and its evolution, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to partnering with it; it’s sure to prove phenomenally beneficial – not only for both our students and the foundation itself, but also for UWE, for the city of Bristol, and for photography at large.”

The Foundation aims to support and promote photography from the British Isles by preserving the archive and legacy of Martin Parr and by holding a growing collection of works by selected British and Irish photographers, as well as images taken in the British Isles by international photographers.

Photographers who work will feature at the centre include Keith Arnatt, Richard Billingham, Elaine Constantine, John Davies, Paul Graham, Ken Grant, John Hinde, Peter Mitchell, Tony Ray-Jones, Paul Reas, Simon Roberts, Graham Smith, Tom Wood and Eamonn Doyle.

The collection will include two original maquettes of In Flagrante by Chris Killip, the full sets of Belgravia by Karen Knorr and of Hackney Flowers by Stephen Gill and the original prints from Victor Sloan’s 1989 exhibition Walls, from the Orchard Gallery in Derry.  



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