Sunday, 29 September 2013

Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr

Beauty Contenstants, Southport, Merseyside, 1967 by Tony Ray-Jones copyright National Media Museum, Bradford

Only In England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr.

I love Martin Parr's photography and never fail to get to an exhibition when I can (and they are few and far between sadly). I have never come across Tony Ray-Jones but as he is definitely of the same ilk I will be sure to get as much enjoyment from his work as Martin Parr's. It's exciting that this exhibition has some early black and white photographs not seen before from Martin Parr and taken in the 1970's but also feature some 55 previously unseen works from Tony Ray-Jones too, and it is his first major London exhibition.

This all reminds me of my childhood and is testimony to the fact that for most the 1970's were pretty grim. When I hear a false nostalgia around Glam Rock and the like I have to get out my photo albums just to reassure myself that it was more about brown nylon and bad hair that wild parties. Well for most of us anyway.

These photographs look to have captured the time perfectly, from English institutions and cultural events to the small things that make up people's lives, both photographers bring to life the humour and humanity to be found in the ordinary. Don't miss this exhibition which sits alongside Universal Everything and You.

Only in England runs from 21 September 2013 - 16th March 2013 at the Media Space, Science Museum. Admission is £8, Concessions £5 (including a donation). It will also be at the National Media Museum, Bradford from 22nd March 2014 until 29th June 2014.

Blackpool, 1968 by Tony Ray-Jones copyright National Media Museum, Bradford
Tony Ray-Jones was born in Somerset in 1941 and studied graphic design at the London School of Printing before leaving the UK in 1961 to study at Yale University. He stayed in New York and was highly influenced by US art director Alexey Brodovitch and became friends with Joel Meyerowitz and Garry Winogrand. In 1966 he returned to the UK to find a country divided by class and tradition.

Martin Parr is from Epsom in Surrey and graduated from Manchester Polytechnic in 1974. He moved to Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire and established the Albert Street Workshop. He is an internationally reknowned photographer and is best known for his portrayals in highly saturated colour of modern life and real people.

Media Space is a collaboration between the Science Museum (London) and the National
Media Museum (Bradford), home of the National Photography Collection. Offering a programme of exhibitions and events, Media Space will draw on the National Photography Collection and the broader Science Museum Collections. Bringing together photographers, artists, curators and the creative industries Media Space will explore relationships between, and lesser-known histories of, photography, science, art and technology.

Notes to Editors
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