Unit 13 FMP— Martin Parr: Return to Manchester @ Manchester Art Gallery


In the previous blog, I have mentioned that I went to Liverpool for a short trip in March with my auntie and uncle ( Unit 13 FMP — Liverpool — The Beatles Story (Mar 2019) ). After visiting Liverpool, my uncle drove us to Machester for a one day trip. Manchester is one of the big cities that I adapted it ( I do not even like London at all) with its artistic and historical atmosphere. An art gallery in a place has always been one of the spots that attract me to walk around and how lucky am I to meet one of my favourite photographer’s exhibition by chance. This visit was not in my schedule of the Manchester visit while I was so lucky to incidentally ‘encounter’ this exhibition.


Martin Parr was exhibiting his work about returning to the place where he started his photography career in Manchester Art Gallery. Starting his career in Manchester, Parr studied there from 1970 to 1973. The city has a profound effect on him as it was so different from his childhood home in suburban,  affluent surrey. It sparked his curiosity about people’s lives, what it is to live in a largely working class and diverse city and he embraced his new context with enthusiasm.

Parr has revisited the city many times over the last 45 years to document the lives of Mancunians. Most recently, the Art Gallery invited Parr again to create a new body of work, which is about the portraiture of the city and its people in 2018. His work shows how the lives of Mancunians have changed but also how there is continuity in how we live.


For me, Parr’s work not only attracting me with his unique style of collaborating photos together into different sizes, but the narratives are also clearly shown with the flow that attracts the audience to understand more about the community in Manchester. I found this exhibition is directly related to my theme of encountering; his identity works similarly for me to return back to my home town many times but still found it changes vigorously every time.

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