Island Life: Photographs from the Martin Parr Foundation

18 May – 31 October 2021

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery | Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RL

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Island Life draws upon photographs from the Martin Parr Foundation collection to show the changing fabric of our cities, society and collective identities. Focusing on post-war from the UK and Ireland, the exhibition will bring together images by over 60 photographers including Khali Ackford, Pogus Caesar, Elaine Constantine, Sian Davey, Chris Killip, David Hurn, Ken Grant, Markéta Luskačová, Graham Smith and Tom Wood. Collectively the images form a compelling study of national behaviour.

I  thought I saw Liz Taylor and Bob Mitchum in the back room of the Commercial, South Bank, 1984.  © Graham Smith courtesy Martin Parr Foundation
Summer Street Party, 2018 © Clementine Schneidermann and Charlotte James courtesy Martin Parr Foundation

The exhibition includes photographs which document moments of historical significance including the poll tax riot, the Aberfan mine disaster and most recently, the BLM movement. These will be displayed alongside images depicting the everyday – weddings, shopping, football and Butlin’s holidays. Island Life traces the evolution of documentary photography in Britain, the photographers who influenced Parr and the younger generation he is influencing in turn.

Family Christening, Norris Green, Liverpool, 1989 © Ken Grant
courtesy Martin Parr Foundation
Ferryquay Gate, Derry, silver gelatin print, toners and watercolours,1989 © Victor Sloan courtesy Martin Parr Foundation