With over 45 years of photography, 40 books published and around 80 exhibitions worldwide, the documentary photographer, photojournalist and chronicler Martin Parr found in the British city of Bristol a permanent home for his collection and photographic culture by creating his own foundation.
The IED Photography students traveled to Bristol to visit the Martin Parr Foundation. They met with Mr. Parr, the foundation team and the students from Ulster University, accompanied by Kent Grant, Director of the Master in Fine Art Photography and Morris Cafiero. A first contact with the fresh environment of the foundation, a modern open space office with an exhibition area and a rather young team.
Martin Parr gave a tour of the foundation starting with the archive. He showed us the storage room where the negatives are kept, as well as the foundation’s photography collection, commenting a few of his favorites.
The visit continued in the foundation's library, that holds over 2000 books and magazines, some of them very rare and valuable, such as his dedicated copy of the David Bailey pin-up box or the first magazine in which the famous British model Kate Moss.
The next step was the visit to the area were the scanning, color correction and printing of the photographers take place. The last part of the visit included Martin Parr showing the collection of photobook dummies and posters from previous exhibitions. In addition, Martin Parr gave an exclusive lecture on his work, his latest book, Only human, and explained how he created two books at the same time while portraying the Gucci cruise collection in Cannes.
The students of the European Master in Contemporary Photography had the opportunity to present their projects to a jury of professionals consisting of Mr. Parr, Morris Cafiero, Kent Grant and the director of the master, Moritz Neumuller. With the support of a digital presentation and a photobook, they showed the work they have been developing throughout the master.
The visit to the Foundation concluded in the kitchen of the Foundation where students of the European Master of Contemporary Photography and the Master of Professional Photography were able to discuss their projects with Morris Cafiero and Kent Grant; both gave precise advice and comments on how to promote and communicate the proposals of each student.
The students were able to meet the photographer Louis Little, who thoroughly explained the entire processing process of Martin Parr's work, from scanning to color correction and printing, for delivery to exhibitions, galleries, art collectors, details, etc. In addition, the young photographers were able to get to know the communication and social media strategy with Nathan Vidler..
The journey around photography did not end at the Martin Parr Foundation. The students were also able to visit The Royal Photographic Society with Dr. Michael Pritchard, director of the institution, who showed the space and gave a lecture on the history and purpose of the Society.
To close with a flourish, Martin Parr gave the students the diploma of the master and the young photographers were invited to the the opening of is called ffaswin and exhibition by Clémentine Schneidermann and Charlotte James at the foundation, where they could meet recognized and emerging photographers with whom to share impressions and experiences around photography.