on 15 May 2014
The photos of Martin Parr as so recognisable, in your face and bright high saturation colours exploding out of the page like a box of fireworks set alight by a stray match.
This book of photos could not be more different.
Taken when Martin was fresh out of art school the photos show the charmingly simple life of people in and around Hebden bridge in Yorkshire.
All the photos are in black and white and very basic, they suit the subject a treat.
The text with them is by Susie Parr who moved from Manchester to Hebden bridge and later became his wife.
Susie’s text is absolutely wonderful, for me the text is as important as the photos, almost as if the text was the point of the book and the photos a group of supporting players.
The text tells of the life of the people and the industry of the area in the late 1970s.
I loved the story of the Lydgate mineral water works, run as a family business since 1897 by the Greenwood family and founded by Titus Greenwood.
They made small production runs of fizzy drinks.
The business had hardly moved on from its Victoria beginnings.
The stories are a wonderful record that we would be the poorer for not having been set down in words, the memories of which would be lost for ever once the people in them had passed on. The photos are in beautifully support.
All in all a book not to be missed, really two books in one.
on 9 November 2013
I have many of Martin Parr's books, but think is the truly outstanding one. Some wonderful images (in fact probably most of Parr's best), accompanied by insightful and at times poignant text. In many ways, it's a time capsule. Buy it.
on 25 April 2014
These are wonderful, intense images from Martin Parr's first long-term project after graduation and after moving to Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. A beautifully produced book allows one to appreciate the intensity of these wonderful images. I was lucky enough to see them printed large on the wall in exhibition.
The book includes a lot of writing and interview material by Susie Parr, who with Martin attended the tiny church which served as the core of this project. This is a brilliant, documentary project conducted in great depths. It is great that it has finally been published.
Unambiguously recommended to anyone interested in documentary photography. A classic.
on 6 February 2015
Superb documentary of a vanishing community in northern England. Having said that, it's hard to tell, even with (or especially with) the text, how sympathetic to the subjects Martin Parr was. Given his later taste for illustrating the grotesque in our culture, I'm inclined to think not very.