Strange and Familiar exhibition curated by Martin Parr at the Barbican

A few weeks ago OH and I went to check out the new exhibition at the Barbican curated by Martin Parr called 'Strange and Familiar; Britain as Revealed by International Photographers'. If you're a regular reader you may recall I eluded to it when I wrote about the Barbican Conservatory. I don't normally rush to see an exhibition as soon as it had opened but this exhibition seemed to tick all my boxes AND got a five star review in Time Out so I got my act together and booked some tickets before it sold out. And boy were we in for a treat, 23 International photographers selected by the iconic Martin Parr and their take on British life.

It was an eclectic mix show casing memorable images from as far back as the 30s with Cartier-Bresson photographing the coronation of George VI. In some cases it was a masterclass in street photography, that candid shot which captures a moment in time which you really wish you had taken. There were images that made you smile, images that made you think, images that made you remember and images that made you see how much British culture and photography has changed in the past 80 years.

And the show was really well laid out so that it didn't feel overcrowded. You were also actively invited to leave the exhibition and come back in again, even on a timed ticket. As there was so much to take in it was great to have this flexibility. If only this was the norm for London exhibitions which can, sometimes, become a rugby scrum which certainly takes away some of the joy of the experience, especially when you have paid so much for a ticket.

I wasn't sure if I could actively take photos in the exhibition so I snapped a few with my mobile but am quite happy with the results. I love photographing interactions with exhibitions - people watching in a way. Anyway that's enough words, here is what I saw:


If you live in London and love photography then I can't recommend  this exhibition highly enough. It's on until 19th June. 

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