There are only a few more weeks left to check out Martin Parr’s new show Black Country Stories at The Public in West Bromwich (Birmingham). I was lucky enough to be invited to the private view. Being in West Bromwich I was expecting something low key because the last Parr show I had been invited to was at a working mans club in Cardif. This was not the case, The Public is a huge super modern gallery / arts facility.
The exhibition itself is a body of work documenting life in the Back Country from sweet factories to curry houses to real heavy industry. Upstairs there are large photos on display depicting people of West Brom working and enjoying their lives.
The really interesting part of the show, especially to any budding photographer, is a wall of over 500 photos from the project. It gives you a real sense of what goes into building up a body of work like this. Evey photo in this wall can be purchased for the mere sum of £10. The prints are not limited edition or signed mind you but you can’t argue against owning a Parr print for £10!
Martian Parr has always championed the grass roots of photography and as part of this exhibition he worked with students at Sandwell College and set them a brief based around telling secrets. The students work is also on display at the gallery, below are 2 examples of their work:
Above image by Dawn Molina
Above image by Celine Motard
The exhibition will be on display until the 23rd of January 2011. More info on opening times and location for the Black Country can be found at The Public’s web site. You can also get a better idea of what the show is all about by reading a blog post from the man himself at Martin Parr’s blog.