Date
20 December 2016
Reading Time
3 minute read
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Review of the Year 2016: photographer Martin Parr

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Date
20 December 2016
Reading Time
3 minute read

Share

In partnership with

Google Design’s goal is to connect, support, and inspire designers and design technologists.

Our eighth profile for Review of the Year is with photographer Martin Parr – here he reflects on highlights of 2016 and ponders what makes a great year.

Ask even your least arty friend to name one British photographer and they will surely name Martin Parr. For the rest of us, Martin is a stalwart creator of raw honest photography that countless budding artists have tried to emulate. He’s spent the last four decades building his reputation for capturing character and scene in typical British life, and had many notable years, but this one particularly stood out – enough for us to finally champion his work in Review of the Year.

Firstly at the start of 2016, he was subject to a major retrospective exhibition at the Hepworth Wakefield, which, with over 300 images, was the largest UK show of his work since his 2002 retrospective at the Barbican. There he showed shots dating back to the 70s alongside a recent series Rhubarb Triangle documenting the rhubarb fields in the West Yorkshire countryside.

Then in April, Phaidon released Real Food, a book of 200 photographs spanning 25 years, collated under one theme: food. Not so glorious as they are garish and at times gross, the saturated shots portray cuisine in a fashion only Martin can accomplish.

Here the photographer gives us insight to his year, from his point of view, in a Q&A as to-the-point as the man himself.

Above

Martin Parr: Cheltenham Gold Cup © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

What was your creative highlight of 2016?

Shooting The Season, Grand National, Derby, and Henley, for example.

What was your lowlight of 2016?

Brexit.

Left

Martin Parr: The Grand National Ladies Day © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

Right

Martin Parr: The Grand National Ladies Day © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

Above
Left

Martin Parr: The Grand National Ladies Day © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

Right

Martin Parr: The Grand National Ladies Day © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

Above

Martin Parr: The Grand National Ladies Day © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

Above

Martin Parr: Cheltenham Gold Cup © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

What do you think are the markers of a good year creatively?

Good photos, although difficult to achieve.

Which piece of work from the last year has been your favourite to work on?

The Season and Oxford University.

Above

Martin Parr: The Grand National Ladies Day © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

Left

Martin Parr: Mexico, Tiguana 2003. Real Food published by Phaidon. © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

Right

Martin Parr: Japan, Tokyo 1998. Real Food published by Phaidon. © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

Above
Left

Martin Parr: Mexico, Tiguana 2003. Real Food published by Phaidon. © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

Right

Martin Parr: Japan, Tokyo 1998. Real Food published by Phaidon. © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

Above

Martin Parr: Japan, Tokyo 1998. Real Food published by Phaidon. © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

How has your work evolved over the last 12 months? What’s been the most important thing you’ve learnt in the last year?

I am exploring the tele photo lens, so that is exciting.

Who has been the most influential creative for you in the last year?

I loved the film Victoria. The one long take was stunning.

What are your hopes for 2017?

That Donald Trump won’t be as bad as we all think he will be!

Supported by Google

At Google, we believe that design is critical to product excellence. That’s why we’re proud to support INT in its effort to champion a broad and inclusive community of creative makers and thinkers with the annual Review of the Year.

We also believe in fostering design through Material Design, a unified system combining theory, resources, and tools to help designers and engineers craft digital experiences, and through Google Design, a cooperative effort whose mission is to support design and engineering excellence by producing original articles, videos, events, as well as creative and educational partnerships. Sign up for the Google Design Newsletter.  

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Further Info

About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent the last ten years working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on news@itsnicethat.com.

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