Only Human: Martin Parr


Museums & Galleries


07/03/2019 - 27/05/2019


National Portrait Gallery

St Martin's Place, WC2H 0HE

Dates: 7 March–27 May

Tickets: £18, U12s free

Wow, it is the season of photographers in London! Hot on the heels of Don McCullen at Tate Modern and Diane Arbus at the Hayward comes Martin Parr in this joyous riot of a show at the National Portrait Gallery.

Margate Martin Parr

From the beaches of Tenby to the enclosures of Aintree, drunken toffs, Gay Pride marchers, the Queen, the Chelsea Flower Show, your local hairdresser, this is Britain in all its muddled, stiff upper lip, have a cup of tea, look on the bright side, glory. 

Tenby Martin Parr Gold Cup Martin Parr

We reckon children of all ages will absolutely love it. There is a strong Grayson Perry irreverence to it (unsurprising to learn the two are big mates) but the wry satire is light and there is an overwhelming sense of goodwill toward the subject matter.

Beaches Martin Parr

Start in a bright yellow room of beaches, complete with deck chairs; move into a funky disco room with strobe lighting; the Grand Slam gallery has tennis court markings; At the Races comes with astro turf under foot. This is an immersive experience. 

BBC Oneness Martin Parr

Some will be familiar. There is a gallery of famous faces including Cara Delevigne and Tracey Emin (both particularly beautiful). Parr was commissioned to make a series of short 30 second films or 'idents' for BBC 1 that have become almost synonymous with the logo - a group of people engaging is some sort of activity, seemingly unaware of the camera. They are on display here and are typical of his style.

Chelsea Flower Show Martin Parr Brexit Martin Parr

There is a gallery devoted to photographs taken since the 2016 Brexit Referendum. These pictures are pinned to the wall, unframed, to highlight the temporary nature of this period. The signs to the room point 'Remain' [come in] 'Leave' [exit]. In the end we all, however reluctantly, have to Leave.

Cafe Martin Parr

But Leave this show via the fabulous retro caff. Battenburg cake and a cuppa tea. Life goes on, with a smile.

Book your tickets for Only Human: Martin Parr here!



Dates: 7 March–27 May

Tickets: £18, U12s free


St Martin's Place, WC2H 0HE

Venue phone:

020 7306 0055

Venue website:

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