UWE Bristol forms partnership with acclaimed photographer Martin Parr's new Bristol-based Martin Parr Foundation

Issue date: 27 October 2017


The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has announced a new collaborative partnership between its Photography degree courses and the Martin Parr Foundation.

Martin Parr is one of the most significant documentary photographers of post-war Britain. He has developed an international reputation for his innovative imagery, his approach to social documentary and his contribution to photographic culture both within the United Kingdom and abroad. The Martin Parr Foundation – a new centre for British photography and the works of Martin Parr – was established in 2014, and was opened to the public at the Paintworks Complex in Bristol earlier this month. The Foundation is comprised of a gallery, a studio, a library and an archive centre and will be open to the public on a regular basis.

Staff and students on UWE Bristol's MA and BA Photography programmes will be collaborating closely with the Foundation in coming years. This will include cooperating on jointly-hosted artist talks, events, workshops and seminars as well as offering students the opportunity to contribute to photographic culture at a local, national and international level. Furthermore, the Foundation's gallery will host an annual exhibition curated by and featuring the work of MA Photography programme. It will provide postgraduate students with an extraordinary opportunity to gain both exposure and experience on a prominent international stage.

For research purposes, UWE Photography students will also have access to the Foundation's exceptional and ever-expanding library of British and Irish photographic books, as well as to its archive centre, which houses Parr's extraordinary collection of post-war documentary photography relating to the British Isles, including rare prints, book maquettes, correspondences, and related objects and ephemera. And finally, Parr himself will offer an annual masterclass to MA students, providing invaluable insight and guidance based upon his unprecedented knowledge of photography, and his four decades' worth of experience at its forefront.

Aaron Schuman, Course Leader of the MA Photography programme, said: “Martin Parr is genuinely one of the most important and influential figures in photography – not only today, but ever.

“His unwavering commitment and extraordinary contributions to photographic knowledge, practice and culture have proved invaluable to the advancement of the medium within the 21st century, and have provided incredible insight into previously underappreciated and unexplored aspects of its long, expansive and diverse history. The establishment of the Martin Parr Foundation further emphasises his true dedication and inspiring devotion to photographic education and its evolution, and we couldn't be more thrilled to partnering with it; it's sure to prove phenomenally beneficial – not only for both our students and the foundation itself, but also for UWE Bristol, for the city of Bristol, and for photography at large.”

“I am very pleased that the Martin Parr Foundation will be collaborating with UWE”, says Parr. ”We are very happy to be giving UWE students the chance to view and study our collections in depth, and are excited to have the opportunity to showcase the work of the newly-formed MA Photography course on our the gallery walls.”

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