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University honours for photographer - Influential photographer Martin Parr is today honoured by his former university, Manchester Metropolitan.
Martin, who is known for his ironic and witty portraits of Englishness, is made an Honorary Doctor of Arts for his ongoing contribution to photography and to MMU’s School
As a student in Manchester in the 1970s, Martin laid a marker of his genius when he ignored convention and designed a room set, decorated with his own framed photos, as a comment on personal taste. The project Home Sweet Home was later recreated for a major Barbican retrospective.
Although based in London, Martin has returned to the Photography degree course at MMU to give masterclass lectures ever since, most recently this year, and has advised on a new Masters in Photography being launched by the School.
Professor Steve Hawley said: “Martin’s contribution to photographic art has been extraordinary. His work is rich in humour and irony, and through his depictions of the banality of everyday life, he turns a mirror on British society.”
Despite hailing from Surrey, Martin Parr has a long association with the North West through MMU and during the five years he worked and lived in Hebden Bridge, near Halifax, where his work documented a disappearing urban culture.
He is probably best known for his photography at New Brighton, Merseyside in the 1980s, and his direction of the 2006 film, It’s Nice up North with comedian Graham Fellows (himself a famous graduate of the MMU).
In 2004 was guest artistic director for the world’s most prestigious photographic exhibition the Rencontres D’Arles. He is widely exhibited throughout the world and is a frequent broadcaster on Channel 4 and BBC 2.
In June 2008, he was awarded the top prize at PhotoEspana, Spain's biggest international
Professor Hawley added: “In his iconic status as a leading international photographer
and artist, and in his warm approach to public engagement with his work he represents a
fitting role model to staff and students within the Manchester School of Art.”
More information about Martin Parr and his work can be found at his website.