Visit to the Hepworth Wakefield Print Fair and The Rhubarb Triangle & Other Stories Photographs by Martin Parr Exhibition

Last Sunday (6th March 2016) I went to visit the Hepworth Wakefield Print Fair 2016

Held on the Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th 10am-5pm in The Calder (the converted mill space across from the main building) it was only the second year of the Print Fair and it featured over 40 printmakers. (The first fair last year attracted over 2000 visitors.)

I was looking forward to seeing the printmakers there that I’d met last year at The Art House in Wakefield when I took part in the Belay program which helped artists develop their business skills; Laura Slater, Bobshaped (Rachel Richardson), Wil Law, Rachel Sim, Ali Appleby and The Art House itself.

It was really nice to see them all and grab a quick chat to catch up and see how they’d been getting on. I didn’t want to distract them from their potential customers too much though  as there was a steady stream of people walking through. I was really pleased to hear how well each of them had been doing over the weekend and hopefully they continued to do so for the last couple of hours after I left them.

After visiting the Print Fair in The Calder I then popped over to the main building to check out the Martin Parr exhibition “The Rhubarb Triangle & Other Stories”. Unfortunatley I couldn’t stay for long but I had an enjoyable walk round the galleries looking at as much as I could. I especially liked the wall of his self portaits as part of the Autoportrait series.

 

The Martin Parr exhibition is on until the 12th of June at The Hepworth Wakefield if you wanted to go see it for yourself, admission is free

Open: 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Sunday
Closed Mondays except local school holidays and bank holidays
10am – 9pm Third Thursday of the month

About the Martin Parr exhibition:

“The Hepworth Wakefield is delighted to present a new commission and major survey exhibition by British photographer Martin Parr.

The Rhubarb Triangle & Other Stories is the largest Martin Parr exhibition in the UK since his Barbican retrospective in 2002, comprising more than 300 photographs that span the past 40 years.

A comprehensive overview of Parr’s work is on display, from early Yorkshire-based black and white photographs of rural communities to his recent international examinations of consumerism. Drawing on the implicit themes of labour and leisure present in the new Rhubarb Triangle commission, the exhibition brings together photographs from multiple series and commissions to address contemporary global networks of industry and consumption. Key series include: The Non-Conformists, 1975-80; The Last Resort, 1983-85; The Cost of Living, 1989; Autoportrait, 1991-2012 and Common Sense, 1995-99.

The Rhubarb Triangle new commission lies at the heart of the exhibition and comprises a series of photographs taken over the last 12 months in an area of countryside known as ‘The Rhubarb Triangle’ between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell in West Yorkshire, which is famous for producing early-forced rhubarb. Parr’s photographs capture all aspects of the rhubarb business, from the back-breaking work of moving the rhubarb from field to shed, the freezing cold and exhausting labour of picking the vegetable by candlelight (or occasionally by head-torch), and the consumption of the rhubarb by coach parties and food tourists.

The exhibition presents a chronological overview of Parr’s iconic series of works. The Non-Conformists and the Calderdale series, taken at the beginning of his career, reflect his experiences of living in and growing up in Yorkshire. After graduating from Manchester Polytechnic, Parr moved to Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire where he embarked upon a project with his future partner Susie recording the disappearing communities around this small town. Parr was already familiar with Yorkshire from his early life, his paternal grandparents George and Florrie lived in Calverley in Leeds and he spent childhood holidays in the county, visiting Scarborough, Brimham Rocks and Bradford.

The Rhubarb Triangle & Other Stories will also include his acclaimed series The Last Resort, documenting the leisure time of the working class in the seaside town of New Brighton which contributed towards the transformation of documentary photography in Britain. We will also show Parr’s subsequent project, The Cost of Living, a photographic essay portraying the new middle classes of 1980s England at home, at parties and meetings, shopping, and going about their everyday life.

Parr’s investigation of cultural identity, aspiration and image is further addressed in the Autoportrait series, within which Parr presents himself as subject of studio portraits around the world. His increasing international work, photographing around the world for commissions or his own projects on themes such as tourism and beaches, is drawn together in two groups, Work and Leisure, to present the labour that produces the objects, food and environments that we consume, and the results of that often, ironically, uneasy experience of leisure time.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication on The Rhubarb Triangle featuring an essay by Martin’s partner, Susie Parr.” -taken from hepworthwakefield.org/martin-parr/

 

Till next time,

Take care

Purple Faye x

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