Martin Parr on secret Britain

I found this recent article by photographer Martin Parr in The Guardian fascinating and inspiring. He reminds us to look at the beauty in the banal, stressing that even mundane objects have charm – you only have to notice them. Above photo, part of a series by Parr on the humble postbox, is an example of what he means by this.

Parr has spent a number of years trying to locate the postboxes with the most stunning backdrops, particularly in the Scottish islands. “Here you can find postboxes literally on the beach and at remote and beautiful crossroads. I have also looked for remote phoneboxes, but I believe the postbox has the edge, as it is smaller and visually stronger.”

As we travel around Britain, I am convinced most of us cannot really appreciate what we are seeing. We take too much for granted, because it is all so familiar.We float through our cities and countryside with our eyes half closed. However if we go abroad, especially to countries which are very different to our own, our sensibilities are awakened; everything is fresh and exciting. I am proposing that same approach should be rekindled when we look at our own environment. Read in the Guardian

Martin Parr is a Magnum photographer; martinparr.com

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