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Just one of those days in England - Martin Parr Calder Valley images in major exhibition

Pecket Well Methodist Chapel, auction of Harvest Festival goods, 1978 by Martin Parr, courtesy of Magnum

Pecket Well Methodist Chapel, auction of Harvest Festival goods, 1978 by Martin Parr, courtesy of Magnum

A rare collection of photographs taken in Hebden Bridge by the renowned Martin Parr in the 1970s are on show at the National Media Museum in Bradford.

Part of a joint exhibition of work with the influential late Tony Ray-Jones titled “Only In England”, Parr’s work was last shown region in Hebden Bridge itself in 1981, and it includes many atmospheric shots of Calder Valley people and events.

And the organisers would love it if you called in - they would like to hear from anyone who recognises themselves in the pictures.

It runs from this week until June 29 and is a major exhibition of both men’s work. A Magnum photographer, Parr, then working in black and white, is now an internationally renowned photographer, filmmaker, collector and curator, best-known for his highly saturated colour photographs critiquing modern life.

- Tony Ray-Jones, who died from leukaemia aged just 30 in 1972 was an influence on Martin Parr, who established the Albert Street Workshop in Hebden Bridge after moving to the town in the early 1970s.

Both captured people’s lives in a strangely evocative way, true snapshots in time that speak volumes. Martin said: “Tony Ray-Jones’ pictures were about England. They had that contrast, that seedy eccentricity, but they showed it in a very subtle way. They have an ambiguity, a visual anarchy. They showed me what was possible.”

Around 50 vintage Ray-Jones prints will be on display, alongside an equal number of his photographs printed especially for the show. Martin Parr was invited to select these new prints from the 2,700 contact sheets and negatives in the Ray-Jones archive.

Martin Parr and his wife Susie Parr will be “in conversation” about the exhibition at the National Media Museum on Saturday, April 12, from 10.30am to noon. You can book for this by phoning 0844 856 3797 (£5, £3 concessions). The exhibition itself is free.

 

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