Media Art and Design Research Blog

Close to Home: Exploring ‘Only In England’.


Close to Home: Exploring ‘Only In England’.

Dr Karen Shepherdson, Reader in Photography at Canterbury Christ Church University, is giving a talk on the photographic work of Martin Parr and Tony Ray-Jones.

The Beaney, 15 September 2016, 6.00pm-7pm

Tony Ray-Jones was born and trained in Britain, but was inspired by the street photography he found when he went to Manhattan in the early 1960s. He brought this sensibility back to England and he specialised in photos which make the everyday seem strange, especially in his take on familiar English seaside scenes – men and women in deckchairs, mods asleep in Margate and so on. Many of his photos were taken in East Kent, including Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Margate and Herne Bay. Martin Parr curated a collection of these photographs, originally shown at the Media Space at the Science Museum and currently on display in the Beaney. Parr has long stressed the importance of Ray-Jones in his own practice, which also includes trips to the seaside and the English at leisure.

Dr Shepherdson will offer an opportunity to (re)consider this influence and explore the legacy both these important photographers have had on contemporary seaside and street photography. She is
a writer, curator, photographer and Director of the UK’s South East Archive of Seaside (SEAS) Photography and Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Communities and Cultures. Her research focuses on the seaside as site of photographic practice and has presented findings at a number of international conferences. Karen has curated several festivals and exhibitions, including the recent SALT: Festival of the Sea & Environment (Folkestone, UK 2015)); Reframing the Sunbeam Photographic Collection Exhibition at the Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury, UK (2014) and co-authored Beyond the View: New Perspectives on Seaside Photography (Burton Press: 2014). She co-edited the four-volume Routledge major collection on Film Theory and has a forthcoming publication: Reframing Commercial Seaside Photography with Oxford University Press scheduled for 2017.

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