The London Science Museum has opened its new Media Space Gallery with its first exhibition “Only in England”, showcasing work from Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr. The Media Space Gallery was set up in partnership with the National Media Museum in Bradford to show the National Photography Collection which the National Media Museum houses. The space is now one of the largest photographic galleries in London and each exhibition at the Media Space Gallery will also be shown in National Media Museum in Bradford.
On show is Martin Parr’s first major body of work “The Non-Conformists” which was shot in black and white in and around Hebden Bridge in the 1970s. I know this work quite well from books but it was really nice seeing images as 30″ x 20″ and 24″ x 20″ prints. There was quite a lot I had not previously seen, like a queue of people waiting to see Jaws. The body of work is amazing snapshot of history of English people.
I must admit that before this show I did not even know that the Hebden Bridge era of work had the name “The Non-Conformists”. In doing a little research I discovered there is a new Parr book coming soon called the “The Non-Conformists” which is co authored by Susie Parr. I highly recommend you pre order it on Amazon now as it’s always good to have first edition Parr books.
Tony Ray-Jones passed away in 1972 and was an inspiration to Martin Parr, so anyone who’s a Parr fan is going to find his work really interesting. Parr selected images from the National Media Museum’s Ray-Jones archive to be shown at the Exhibition, which includes 50 previously unseen pictures.
All the Ray-Jones prints were expertly scanned and printed by Tom Groves, who is responsible for printing at Parr’s studio. If you recognise that name it’s because he is the author of “In the Box” which I previously highlighted on my blog.
Alongside the Tony Ray-Jones prints are excerpts from his notebooks which gives a real insight into his thought process as well as some killer photo tips like:
- “Don’t take boring pictures”
- “Watch for camera shake shoot 250th or above”
- “Take simple pictures”
- “Don’t shoot too much”
- “Stay with the subject matter (be patient)”
The space runs the entire length of the science museum’s main exhibition hall. The architecture of the space is really interesting. It’s been designed to maximise wall space while still allowing you to get a sense of how big it is by offering a view through the middle.
Only in England is on till the 16 March 2014. Entry costs £8.00 and Concessions are £5.00
As a side note if you’re ever in Bradford or near (Leeds or Manchester) The National Media Museum and the Impressions photographic gallery are well worth checking out, I’ve been to both and they’re awesome.