photography

Martin Parr: See “Unseen” photos of The City of London

By Kitty Knowles 2 March 2016
Martin Parr, Unseen City: Lord Mayor’s Show, Guildhall, City of London, 2014. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
Summary

Go behind the scenes in The City of London as new exhibition Unseen City opens at the Guildhall Art Gallery.

You’ll know of the purposeful pomp of The City of London, but have you ever thought about what goes on behind the scenes?

Now you can step into the Unseen City, through a new exhibition by renowned British photographer Martin Parr.

“This major exhibition opens up the City of London in a way never before seen,” said Katherine Pearce, curator at the Guildhall Art Gallery.

“Martin Parr’s photographs allow everyone – both from outside and within the City – an unprecedented behind-the-scenes view into this ancient and dynamic place.”

Martin Parr, Unseen City: Election of the new Lord Mayor, Alan Yarrow, Guildhall, City of London, 2014. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
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Martin Parr, Unseen City: Election of the new Lord Mayor, Alan Yarrow, Guildhall, City of London, 2014. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Parr was first recognised for his black-and-white photography in the north of England and later became knoew for his lurid hypereal photos of Brighton in the ’80s. He’s always been good at capture his subjects at their most intimate.

“There are all kinds of things happening in the City that most people won’t ever come across,” said Pearce, of the Guildhall Art Gallery’s first major exhibition.

“Parr reveals the ‘unseen’, literally and metaphorically. He pays attention to detail and spots things that make you think again about what you’re seeing.”

Martin Parr, Unseen City: St Matthew’s Day Parade, Mayoral Car, City of London, 2014. © Martin Parr / Magnum
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Martin Parr, Unseen City: St Matthew’s Day Parade, Mayoral Car, City of London, 2014. © Martin Parr / Magnum

Visitors will get a glimpse into some of the traditions and oddities that have taken place for hundreds of years, as well as new views of private ceremonies, Banquets and behind-the-scenes moments.

Above is the Lord Mayor’s sceptre, safely nestled in the Mayoral car on one of its annual outings.

Martin Parr, Unseen City: Fiona Woolf prepares to be sworn in as only the second ever woman to serve as Lord Mayor. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
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Martin Parr, Unseen City: Fiona Woolf prepares to be sworn in as only the second ever woman to serve as Lord Mayor. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

You’ll also get to see some of the people who make up the City including Lord Mayors, City dignitaries, bystanders and even Her Majesty The Queen – AKA ‘The Queen of Technology‘.

Fiona Woolf (pictured above) is photographed as she prepares to be sworn in as only the second ever woman to serve as Lord Mayor. (The first female Lord Mayor was Dame Mary Donaldson, elected in 1983).

Read more: Why Elizabeth II is the Queen of Technology

Martin Parr, Unseen City: Lord Mayor’s Show, Guildhall, City of London, 2013. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
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Martin Parr, Unseen City: Lord Mayor’s Show, Guildhall, City of London, 2013. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Martin Parr has been the City of London’s photographer-in-residence since 2013, and in this time has built up an impressive body of documentary work.

Following the exhibition, the Guildhall Art Gallery will acquire 20 of his photos for the contemporary permanent collection which features centuries of works that represent historic and present London.

Unseen City will run at the Guildhall Art Gallery from 4 March – 31 July 2016

Read more: We’ve got the blueprints for London’s tube stations: Guess which famous stops they are?

Read more: The Art of Building: London’s most beautiful architecture captured

Read more: Explore the Battersea Power Station site in 360° years before it’s finished

Martin Parr, Unseen City: Lord Mayor’s Show, City of London, 2013. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
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Martin Parr, Unseen City: Lord Mayor’s Show, City of London, 2013. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
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