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Celebrated photographer inspires students

More than 100 Dudley College photography and Art & Media students treated to an extraordinary and rare treat this week when world-renowned art/documentary photographer, Martin Parr, talked about his experiences and work as Britain's most influential documentary photographer of the last 30 years. Martin made his break in the 80s with his controversial and iconic photo project 'The Last Resort'.   

The lecture was held in a packed theatre during which Martin discussed his career as a photographer, filmmaker, artist and UK head of the prestigious Magnum Photographic Agency, formed by the late Henri Cartier Bresson and Robert Capa.

Martin said: "As I've been working in Dudley for the Black Country Story project it was an ideal opportunity to come to Dudley College to encourage and meet photographic talent."

During the lecture he described how photography had changed since the 1970s, and how we now recognise the significant role of the photographer. He explained to students that he was 'obsessive' and this quality had helped to make him stand out from other photographers. He explained: "By being obsessive, you strive to be better than anyone else, and therefore you look for more interesting subjects and take more pictures. You might need to take a lot of bad pictures to get a really good one."

Martin is currently documenting life in the Black Country, exploring modern day society and the cultural make-up of the region, resulting in an exhibition of over 650 images which capture and celebrate everyday life. He has completed a photographic record of Sandwell, Walsall, and Wolverhampton, and is now working on the 'Dudley Phase' before attending his exhibition in New York.

Ben Gamble, Centre Manager for Art, Design and Media, said: "It is a real privilege to have Martin share his work and experiences with our students. This is one of the many ways we give our  learners  a competitive edge and exposure to the realities of working in a creative industry."
The College has a unique and successful photographic department which was recently acknowledged by Ofsted as an 'Outstanding' centre of learning for students.