Martin Parr & Tom Wood: The Last Resort
05 May 2012 - 17 June 2012
Martin Parr and Tom Wood first exhibited The Last Resort at the Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, in 1986. The show brought images of New Brighton, a beach resort located just across the river Mersey, to the walls of the gallery and to public and critical attention. These photographs came to
establish the place of colour in British documentary photography.
During the Victorian era, as the profits of Empire started to trickle down to a larger part of the population and the rail network opened up travel, tourism for the masses took hold and seaside resorts developed around the UK. New Brighton became a holiday destination for generations of workers in the industrial belt of Merseyside and the Midlands. But, by the 1980s, when Parr and Wood were photographing the area and establishing their reputations, industrial decline was
gripping the North of Britain.
Against this backdrop, The Last Resort captures an emphatically British and colourful view of the leisure of the working classes of the North of England. Establishing a 'warts and all' approach to photography, the series brings us crowded chippies with peeling paint and sunburned children,
thronging wave lagoons of blue water and sunbathers on litter strewn concrete piers.
25 April 2012