Martin Parr’s "The Non-Conformists", in the Virreina

The British photographer’s first major body of work, which can be seen up until the 27th of July, portrays aspects of England that are in the process of disappearing

Known for his satirical photographical portraits of contemporary life, photographer Martin Parr returns to Barcelona with The Non-Conformists, a series created by this member of the Magnum agency shortly after finishing arts college.

In the series the British artist depicts the residents and industries of Hebden Bridge, Crimsworth Dean and other villages in the West Yorkshire region from 1975 to 1980 in a total of 75 prints which document a former way of life based around a work ethic, a pace of life and traditional values that have now all but disappeared.

Employing a documentary style, Parr focussed on the village inhabitants, their way of life and their religion: Methodists, pigeon breeders, textile workers and coal miners, and so forth. In parallel, Susie Mitchell, who would later marry Parr, developed a written document dealing with a way of life still existent in this part of England; the communities who structured their society around the village chapel and who maintained a spirit of individuality within British society of the time.

The exhibition can be seen in the Virreina from the 15th of April to the 27 of July as a prelude to Martin Parr’s upcoming visit to Barcelona during which he will deliver the inaugural address for the OjodePez Photo Meeting on the 11th of June.

Publication date: Monday, 14 April 2014
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