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Father & Son, Brian & Ross Cartwright

Griffin-Woodhouse Ltd, Cradley Heath, 2010

© Martin Parr / Magnum Photos / Multistory
Photograph taken as part of Black Country Stories 2010 to 2014, produced and commissioned by Multistory.

Over the last four years, British documentary photographer Martin Parr has turned his inquisitive gaze to the Black Country. This is an area of the UK that he hardly knew before the project, other than that it was a densely populated, post-industrial area; one in decline. That is partly what he found, but there were also some small factories in relatively good health.

There is evidence that the families of Griffin-Woodhouse Ltd. in Cradley Heath have been involved in chain manufacturing since the 18th century. Today, a father and son are the latest link in this unbroken chain. An exception that proves the rule?

Martin Parr

Martin Parr is a British documentary photographer. He is known for his photographic projects that take an intimate, satirical and anthropological look at aspects of modern life, in particular documenting the social classes of England, and more broadly the wealth of the Western world. Martin Parr is a chronicler of our age: in the face of the constantly growing flood of images released by the media, his photographs offer us the opportunity to see the world from his unique perspective.

Since 1994, Parr has been a member of Magnum Photos. He has had around 40 solo photobooks published, and has featured in around 80 exhibitions worldwide - including the international touring exhibition ParrWorld and a retrospective at the Barbican Arts Centre London, in 2002. More recently Martin has just completed a 4-year project documenting the Black Country, an area of the English West Midlands, in conjunction with Multistory.