A new book published by RRB Photobooks with the Martin Parr Foundation will provide a comprehensive overview of the Martin Parr’s black and white photographs, featuring 20 previously unseen images. The publication charts his work between 1970 and 1984 and, as such, chronicles a time when he was really developing his now instantly recognisable and distinct aesthetic.
Martin Parr – Early Works features images from multiple series including The Non Conformists, his first major body of work after finishing art school. Created between 1975 and 1979 together with wife Susie Parr, the project documented their then-home town of Hebden Bridge and the local people’s fading ways of life. It shows an early dedication to British tradition and its inherent quirks and banality, all with his characteristic sense of wry humour.
Similarly, the book also includes works from Bad Weather, a survey of British and Irish people carrying on whatever the weather, and A Fair Day, showing normal life in Ireland in the early 80s. This series includes photographs of abandoned Morris Minors and rural dance halls as well as newly built bungalows, providing a view of a society caught between the past and the 20th Century. The book also includes some of Parr’s lesser-known photographs taken in India and China in the mid-1980s, some of these previously unpublished, alongside other unseen works from this period shot across the British Isles.
If you want to hear more from Martin himself, we sat down with him recently for a far-reaching discussion that covered everything from the state of the photography industry today to the importance of being an obsessive.