Martin Parr Foundation: New centre for British photography to launch in Bristol

The Royal wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William. Residents outside their home on Clare Road, Walsall, The Black Country, England, UK, 2011. From the series ‘Black Country Stories’. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

One of the most significant documentary photographers of post-war Britain is to be celebrated at a new centre for British photography in Bristol. Launching in October, the Martin Parr Foundation was established in 2014 and will open to the public in a purpose-built space in the city's Paintworks complex, comprising a studio, gallery, library and archive centre.

The aim of the Foundation is to support and promote photography from the British Isles. It will do so 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. The Foundation will also house an expanding library of British and Irish photographic books.

Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol, 2017 © Louis Little

Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol, 2017 © Louis Little

Martin Parr at the Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol, 2017 © Louis Little

Martin Parr at the Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol, 2017 © Louis Little

Martin Parr has developed an international reputation for his innovative imagery, his oblique approach to social documentary, and his contribution to photographic culture both within the UK and abroad.

Alongside his reputation as a photographer, Parr is known as an important collector, especially of photobooks. Over the past 40 years, Parr’s dedication to discovering and promoting the overlooked, and his support of both photographers and photography have contributed to the way the history of the medium is understood and defined.

New Brighton, England, UK. From the series 'The Last Resort, 1983-85’. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

New Brighton, England, UK. From the series 'The Last Resort, 1983-85’. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Teddy Gray's, confectionary manufacturer, Dudley, The Black Country, England, UK, 2010. From the series ‘Black Country Stories’. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Teddy Gray's, confectionary manufacturer, Dudley, The Black Country, England, UK, 2010. From the series ‘Black Country Stories’. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

His collection of around 12,000 photobooks, one of the most inclusive collections of its kind in the world, has been both gifted to and acquired by the Tate with assistance from the Luma Foundation and The Art Fund. Some of the proceeds from this have been invested in the Martin Parr Foundation.

So when can you visit the new space? It will be open to the public on a regular basis and will present work related to British photography as well as images by Martin Parr – some of which we've shared with you on Creative Boom.

Griffin Woodhouse Ltd, chain makers. Father & son, Brian & Ross Cartwright. Sandwell, The Black Country, England, UK, 2010. From the series ‘Black Country Stories’. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Griffin Woodhouse Ltd, chain makers. Father & son, Brian & Ross Cartwright. Sandwell, The Black Country, England, UK, 2010. From the series ‘Black Country Stories’. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Mosh, The Face 1997 © Elaine Constantine

Mosh, The Face 1997 © Elaine Constantine

The first exhibition from 25 October – January 2018 will be Black Country Stories by Martin Parr, followed by Town to Town by Niall McDiarmid and the David Hurn Swaps show in Spring 2018. For more information, visit martinparrfoundation.org.

Tired drink picture, 1986 © Tom Wood

Tired drink picture, 1986 © Tom Wood

Youth on Wall, Jarrow, Tyneside, 1976 © Chris Killip

Youth on Wall, Jarrow, Tyneside, 1976 © Chris Killip

Main image: The Royal wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William. Residents outside their home on Clare Road, Walsall, The Black Country, England, UK, 2011. From the series ‘Black Country Stories’. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos