Photobiography – A Public Talk by Martin Parr

– Posted on Friday 14th June 2024

One of the world’s leading documentary photographers will address an Island audience next month at a talk hosted by Manx National Heritage.

With an unmistakable eye for the quirks of ordinary life, Martin Parr CBE has been a distinctive figure in visual culture for more than 50 years.

Known for his use of garish colours and esoteric composition, he has studied cultural peculiarities around the world and his home country of Britain. Coupled with a penetrating wit, his work sheds light on human nature; often it spontaneously catches his subjects un-posed, off-guard just being themselves, revealing something of their inner character.

The talk, entitled Photobiography, on Tuesday 9 July, will explore his life and career in photography.

Parr will be visiting the Island to officially launch a new exhibition of his photography at the Manx Museum. Tynwald Week – Photos by Martin Parr celebrates the idiosyncrasies of Tynwald Day. Commissioned by Isle of Man Post Office, he set out to capture the spirit of Tynwald Week 2023, whist identifying peculiarly Manx traits. The resulting photographs combine the heritage of the traditional ceremony with fun and celebration. Parr’s highly personal and vibrant images of Viking re-enactment, ceremonial and military formality, uniquely Manx food and children at play all inform our perception of the occasion. The exhibition, which opens on Saturday 29 June, has been kindly supported with a grant from the Isle of Man Arts Council.

Katie King, Curator: Art & Social History for Manx National Heritage, said: “We are delighted that Martin Parr has accepted our invitation to visit the Isle of Man again to see his work exhibited at the Manx Museum, and to deliver a public talk as part of his trip. Many people will be familiar with his quirky style of photography, but few get the opportunity to hear him talk about his career and passion for the subject. He will also explore a little about the Tynwald Week project and the resulting exhibition and stamp issue. We know his interest in all things ceremonial, manners, social convention and personalities made an invitation to Tynwald Day a compelling idea – so it will be fascinating to hear more about his work.”

The talk takes place at 6:30pm at the iMuseum on Kingswood Grove in Douglas.

Tickets are available online and includes an opportunity to visit the exhibition at the Manx Museum between 4:30pm-6:30pm, with an opportunity to purchase Parr’s Tynwald Week prints, limited edition signed exhibition posters, and Isle of Man Post Office’s Tynwald Week stamp issue and merchandise.

To book your ticket, visit:


 About Martin Parr CBE

 Martin Parr was born in Epsom, Surrey, UK, in 1952 and studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic, from 1970 to 1973. Since that time, he has worked on numerous photographic projects. He has developed an international reputation for his innovative imagery, an oblique approach to social documentary and his input to photographic culture within the UK and abroad.

One of the best-known documentary photographers of his generation, with more than 100 books of his own published, and another 30 edited himself, Parr’s photographic legacy is already established. He also acts as a curator and editor. He has curated two photography festivals, Arles in 2004 and Brighton Biennial in 2010. More recently Parr curated the Barbican exhibition, Strange and Familiar. Parr has been a member of the Magnum agency since 1994 and was President from 2013 – 2017.

In 2013 Parr was appointed the visiting professor of photography at the University of Ulster. Parr’s work has been collected by many of the leading museums, from the Tate, the Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The Martin Parr Foundation was established in 2017.

In 2019 the National Portrait Gallery in London held a major exhibition of Parr’s work titled Only Human.

Manx National Heritage contact:

 Katie King

Curator: Art & Social History

Manx National Heritage

Manx Museum, Douglas

Isle of Man


T: 01624 648023


Back to top