The exhibits 80 years in Nice Britain and Eire
Island Life is a group exhibition that is drawing on the Martin Parr Foundation's collection as part of the newly launched Bristol Photo Festival to paint a fascinating picture of the post-war era to the present day. Parr himself is surprisingly not on the list of exhibiting photographers, but offers a patchwork of perspectives from all over Great Britain and Ireland with pictures from over 60 photographers in the exhibition.
The exhibition features work by Tom Wood and Ken Grant who, along with Parr, are considered key documentary filmmakers in North West England and who together have helped shape the practice of British documentary photography on a larger scale, along with the late Chris Killip, whose photography The decline of industry is also included in the fair.
Above: from Looking for Love, 1985 © Tom Wood. Above: Biscuit in the Snow, Lynemouth, Northumberland, 1984 © Chris Killip Photography Trust. All images courtesy of the Martin Parr Foundation
The decline and legacy of industry are creating an undercurrent. A sobering picture by David Hurn from 1966 shows the direct aftermath of the Aberfan mining disaster in south Wales.
It's an area that Clémentine Schneidermann returned to some 50 years later with Charlotte James to work on their joint, celebratory project It's Called Ffasiwn, which takes on a different tone yet remains tied to that legacy.
Aberfan, Glamorgan, Wales, 1966 © David Hurn and Magnum PhotosSummer Street Party, 2018 © Clementine Schneidermann and Charlotte James
Hurn's picture of the Aberfan disaster is joined by other works that distill historic moments in Great Britain and Ireland, including Pogus Caeser's photographs during the 1985 Handsworth Riots in Birmingham and Gilles Peress & # 39; Documentation of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
While many of the photos on the show have a serious tone, there is plenty of calm. The free abandonment of youth is expressed in Elaine Constantine's inflammatory mosh pit scenes or Siân Davey's intimate portrayal of her daughter's circle of friends, while humorous imagery of Ian Weldon and Dougie Wallace channels the carefree spirit of an absent Martin Parr.
Handsworth Riots: Birmingham, UK, 1985, © Pogus Caesar / OOM Gallery ArchiveWoman in front of the poster, sells the jacket and other things, Bethnal Green Road, 1990 © Markéta LuskačováSlumbering Boy I, © Sian DaveyI thought I saw Liz Taylor and Bob Mitchum in the back room of the Commercial, South Bank, in 1984. © Graham SmithMosh, The Face, 1997, © Elaine Constantine
Island Life runs at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery through October 31st. bristolphotofestival.org