UNITOM Hosts Martin Parr & Daniel Meadows: A Night to Remember

UNITOM Hosts Martin Parr & Daniel Meadows: A Night to Remember

Martin Parr and Daniel Meadows, both renowned for their distinctive contributions to the world of photography, took the stage to share their extraordinary journeys. Their discussion was not only a look back at their illustrious careers but also an exploration of their friendship, shared vision and collaborative projects.

From their early days as photography students at Manchester Polytechnic in the 1970s to their groundbreaking work in documentary photography, the duo offered a treasure trove of anecdotes and insights. Their camaraderie and mutual respect were evident, making the talk as entertaining as it was educational.

Midway through the talk, Martin Parr made a profound statement that resonated deeply with the audience: “It’s my relationship with the world that I’m actually trying to photograph.” This sentiment encapsulated the essence of Parr’s work and provided a deeper understanding of his approach to photography.

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the launch of "Fashion Faux Parr," Parr's latest exploration into the world of fashion photography. The book, true to Parr's style, blends humour and critique, capturing the quirks and idiosyncrasies of fashion with a sharp eye. Attendees had the unique opportunity to have their copies signed by Parr himself, creating a cherished keepsake from the night.

 As young photographers living in areas like Moss Side and Whalley Range, they were immersed in the diverse and lively atmosphere of the city, which became a significant backdrop for their early work. Meadows recounted his early project, "The Shop on Greame Street," where he rented a barber shop in Moss Side and ran a pop-up studio, capturing the community's life amid urban redevelopment.

Their collaborative project, "June Street," involved photographing residents in their homes before the area was demolished. This project highlighted the importance of capturing everyday life and the personal connections they made with the people they photographed. These early projects were pivotal in shaping their careers and left a lasting impact on their approach to documentary photography.

 Meadows emphasised that documentary photography gains significance over time, as ordinary scenes become extraordinary with the passage of years. He also discussed revisiting his old projects, like "National Portraits: Now & Then," to capture changes over time. This approach underscored the long-term value and evolving impact of their work.

Parr talked about his shift from black-and-white to colour photography in the 1980s, inspired by photographers like William Eggleston and Stephen Shore. This transition was pivotal in developing his distinctive style and allowed him to capture the vibrancy and nuances of everyday life in a new and impactful way.

One of the most touching aspects of the evening was witnessing the deep friendship between Parr and Meadows. Their bond, forged during their student days at Manchester Polytechnic, has endured over decades. This friendship not only enriched their personal lives but also inspired their professional collaborations, adding depth and authenticity to their work.

 A huge thank you goes out to Martin Parr and Daniel Meadows for creating such an incredible evening, as well as to everyone in attendance. It was heartwarming to see so many familiar faces, and the sense of community was palpable.

For those who missed the event or wish to relive the experience, we are pleased to share a recording of the talk below. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did and look forward to hosting more such enriching events in the future.