Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers at Manchester Art Gallery

Polly Checkland Harding
Bruce Gilden, Factory in the Midlands, 2014. © Bruce Gilden/Magnum Photos.

Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers at Manchester Art Gallery, City Centre 25 November 2016 — 29 May 2017 Entrance is free

Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers comes at a time when perspective is needed more than ever. Curated by the award-winning British photographer Martin Parr and Barbican Art Gallery, this exhibition showcases over 200 photographs from 22 artists, reflecting on how Britain is perceived by those outside its borders. The show “reveals a very different take on British life than that produced by British photographers. It is both familiar and strange at the same time,” says Parr, with a nod to the exhibition’s title.

The photographs range from Edith Tudor-Hart’s arresting black and white images of London’s East End, to Bruce Gilden’s controversial close-ups of working class people in the Black Country (2014) and Middlesex (2011) – tightly cropped, with their intense detail verging on the grotesque. Shinro Ohtake’s 1977 photographs of London and its inhabitants are on show for the first time in the UK in this touring exhibition, alongside a series of specially commissioned photographs of contemporary Manchester as seen by visitors to the gallery by Romanian photographer Alex Beldea.

Photo of a young boy pushing a pram
Bruce Davidson, Wales, 1965.
© Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos.

There will be a photobook section accompanying the exhibition on the ground floor of the gallery, featuring a range of rare, out-of-print and recent publications by the photographers featured in the gallery. Visitors are also encouraged to capture a portrait of Manchester in a single image, share their photograph on social media (using the hashtag #MAGstrangeandfamiliar); all of the images will be on display at Manchester Art Gallery during the exhibition, with one selected to become a new postcard and available for sale exclusively at the gallery shop. Finally, there will be an in-conversation event between Martin Parr himself and Barbican Curator Alona Pardo at 1pm on Friday 25 November; Parr studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University), won the Baume et Mercier award in 2008 and has published over 90 books of his own work, editing a further 30. A rare chance to see one of photography’s greats in discussion – and to look beyond Britain’s borders to our place in the world.

Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers at Manchester Art Gallery, City Centre 25 November 2016 — 29 May 2017 Entrance is free

What's on at Manchester Art Gallery

Where to go near Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers at Manchester Art Gallery

Salut Wines
Chinatown
Bar or Pub
Salut Wines

Salut wines pride themselves in offering “wider horizons beyond the safe choices.” With 42 wines by the glass and a regularly changing selection of bottles in their Enomatic wine preservation machines (or  “wine jukebox,” as they’re colloquially known), this is one of be best bars in Manchester for exploring new vintages.

Manchester Central Library
Manchester
Library
Manchester Central Library

The stunning Manchester Central Library is now back open for all visitors who wish to browse the enormous collection or simply relax in this magnificent building.

St Peters Square Manchester
City Centre
St Peter’s Square

St Peter’s Square is a public space in Manchester – home to the city’s iconic library, town hall, Pankhurst statue, art gallery and famous Midland Hotel.

Chinatown
Restaurant
Manchester Art Gallery Cafe

Summery bakes, seasonal salads and fresh light meals at Manchester Art Gallery’s in-house café, courtesy of highly-regarded Head Chef Matthew Taylor.

Chinatown
Hotel
The Alan

This high-end city-centre restaurant has an excellent afternoon tea option that more than matches up to the superb main menu.

Contemporary Six, art gallery in Manchester
City Centre
Gallery
Contemporary Six

Contemporary Six is an independent commercial art gallery in Manchester city centre, set up by Alex Reuben in 2010.

King Street Town House Hotel in Manchester
City Centre
Hotel
King Street Townhouse Hotel

Boasting Manchester’s first rooftop infinity pool, the King Street Townhouse Hotel offers visitors panoramic views across the city. And, with so much to choose from, all Manchester needs now is a little sunshine…

Manchester
Shop
Siam Smiles

Now based at the Great Northern, Siam Smiles is a food stop that’s hot on everyone’s lips.

Chinatown
Restaurant
Yang Sing

One of the most well-known Chinese restaurants in Manchester, Yang Sing has been feeding Mancunians for forty years.

City Centre
Restaurant
Blinker

Elegant cocktail bar in the centre of Manchester, with a relaxed atmosphere and wonderfully friendly staff.

What's on: Exhibitions

Culture Guides

Rebecca Watson author photo
Literature Events in Manchester and the North

In between working out, then working through, your holiday reading pile this summer, find inspiration for your next bookish acquisitions from our selection of live events and exhibitions.