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Martin Parr's unseen photographs of Brexit Britain go on display in major new exhibition

(People's Daily Online)    13:55, March 08, 2019

Martin Parr's unseen photographs of Brexit Britain go on display in major new exhinition (Photo by Tianxing Bai) 

New and previously unseen photographs, which reveal photographer Martin Parr's take on the social climate in Britain in the aftermath of the EU referendum, have gone on public display for the first time in a major new exhibition of works by one of Britain's best known and most widely celebrated photographers at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Only Human: Martin Parr brings together some of Parr's best-known photographs with some of his new, never-before-seen work, to focus on one of his most engaging subjects - people. Featuring portraits of people from around the world, the exhibition examines national identity today, both in the UK and abroad with a particular focus on Parr's wry observations of Britishness. As well as showing Britain in the era of Brexit, the exhibition focuses on British Abroad, including photographs taken in British Army camps overseas. The exhibition also displays Parr's long term study of the British 'Establishment', which includes recent photographs taken at Christ's Hospital school in Sussex, Oxford and Cambridge Universities and the City of London, revealing the rituals and ceremonies of British life.

Martin Parr's unseen photographs of Brexit Britain go on display in major new exhinition (Photo by Tianxing Bai)

Although best known for capturing ordinary people, Parr has also photographed celebrities throughout his career. For the first time, Only Human: Martin Parr reveals a selection of portraits of renowned personalities, most of which have never been exhibited before.

Other new works explore the quirks of leisure activities today; a subject Parr has explored since the 1980s. Parr photographs trips to the beach, tennis tournaments - from Wimbledon to the US Open - and a day at the races, to reveal the eccentricities of everyday life. These images take the visitor on a color-saturated journey through places where public and private worlds intersect. Other photographs capture the infectious joy of dancing, an everyday activity enjoyed by people across the globe.

Martin Parr's unseen photographs of Brexit Britain go on display in major new exhinition (Photo by Tianxing Bai)

Only Human: Martin Parr also features the unforgettable self-portraits Parr has made throughout his career. For over thirty years, Parr has visited studio photographers, street photographers and photo booths around the world to have his portrait taken. The resulting Autoportraits raise questions about portraiture and the business of portrait photography, showcasing a range of fascinating and often humorous settings employed by professional portraitists. Works on display include his Photo Escultura, a group of shrine-like carved photo-sculptures, based on Parr's likeness and commissioned from the last remaining traditional maker in Mexico City, which have never been exhibited in the UK before.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to show my work at such a prestigious Gallery. One of the main themes is British identity and given March 2019 is when we are supposedly leaving the European Union, the timing could not be better," noted Parr. (Tianxing Bai)

Martin Parr's unseen photographs of Brexit Britain go on display in major new exhinition (Photo by Tianxing Bai)

Martin Parr introduces his photographs (Photo by Tianxing Bai)

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