And now the Orkney Pier Arts Centre, which has been open to visitors for a few weeks, will finally be able to display its long-delayed spring exhibition. Think of Scotland by Martin Parr is a collection of some of the finest Scottish photos by the photographer, showing elements of life as we experience it, from distant letterboxes to tarrings and featherings. Seen for the first time in Aberdeen, these photos are the result of 25 years of visits north of the border, in partnership with Aberdeen Art Gallery and Magnum.
Born in Surrey in 1952, Parr studied photography in the early 1970s at Manchester Polytechnic, and from 2013-17 he was president of Magnum Images. Parr’s eye, a social documentarian, is an idiosyncratic and affectionate one, full of humor and his own special viewpoint. The Scottish pictures are from all over the world. “All the things you associate with Scotland, in terms of clichés, are things I like,” he once said. He examines national features in his work in order to find out how valid these cultural symbols are. The colors are gaudy, the pictures often hideous, full of unresolved inconsistencies. If he’s photographing Bristol Pride or visitors taking selfies from Venice to India, his subject matter is people and daily life. The Orkney pictures are of events from the agricultural calendar of the islands, scenes that will be familiar to many but seen through a different lens – if you’ll forgive the pun.
Martin Parr, Pier Arts Centre, Victoria Lane, Orkney, Stromness, 01856 850209 Through Nov. 7, Thu – Sat, 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.