Personal vision : personal voice : personal expression : personal statement

WHEN NOTHING can any longer be done for the first time, how do we do things differently? Working among the surfeit of images, which so characterizes our contemporary world, a photographer’s greatest challenge is to distinguish their personal work from the thousands of competing images on every hand. The RPS Contemporary Group strives to meet this challenge in its promotion of Contemporary Photography. It is proud to present two of Britain’s most original photographers, whose work is stamped by their own personal vision of the world and is recognisably and brilliantly their own.

Martin Parr is arguably Britain’s most celebrated photographer. He is a member of Magnum, author of numerous photographic books, and curator of international photographic exhibitions. He is known for his biting social criticism, keen eye for detail and unfailing sense of photographic humour. For more than thirty years he has been pushing out the boundaries of photography, his style both constant and constantly evolving, and always recognisably Parr.

John Darwell has also been photographing for more than three decades. He currently teaches the MA course on photography at the University of Cumbria at Carlisle. He is the author of seven photographic books, has exhibited frequently in the UK and abroad and is represented in many international collections. His subjects include the post-industrial landscape, the global nuclear industry, the exploration of interior psychological conditions and most recently the phenomena of discarded dog poop bags.

Both our speakers have produced major bodies of work that express their own personal views of the contemporary world. Their personal vision and style is an unmistakable mark of their photography. The RPS Contemporary Group is delighted to offer this opportunity to see and hear two great British photographers tell how they do it.



The event will begin at 10.30; with registration from 09.45 onwards, when tea/coffee and biscuits will be available. Lunch (anything from a sandwich to a small meal) can be purchased at the excellent University restaurant on campus. Through the day, there will be a sale of photographic books authored by both speakers, who will be pleased to sign them, and two photographic exhibitions. It is expected that the event will finish about 17.30, but attendees will be welcome to stay on for books or exhibitions until 18.00.


Lancaster is reached by road via junctions 33 (from the South), or 34 (from the North), of the M6. The University of Cumbria, Lancaster Campus (formerly St. Martin’s College), is about a mile from Lancaster City centre. The Post code, for SatNav purposes, is LA1 3JD. There will be ample free parking at the University.

There are frequent train services to Lancaster, from London (2? hours), and from Edinburgh and Glasgow (2 hours) on the West Coast main line. There is an hourly train service direct to and from Manchester Airport, via Manchester Piccadilly, which takes about 80 minutes from the airport and 60 from Manchester Piccadilly. The train station in Lancaster is on the edge of the City centre, about 20 minutes’ walk from the Campus. It is most easily reached by taxi (book in advance, 01524 848848, and expect a fare of about £4).

There are several hotels in and around Lancaster, which offer good value at weekends.

Lancaster is about 30 minutes drive from Windermere and the southern Lakes; 45 minutes from Ambleside; and 90 minutes from Ullswater. Carlisle, the Scottish borders and the Roman Wall are 60 minutes drive away, and the North Yorkshire Dales National Park about the same. Within easy distance to the south is Blackpool, and, to the south east, the magnificent but little known walking country of the Trough of Bowland. The City centre, with its unique atmosphere, monuments, museums, shops and restaurants (some of them very good), is within an easy walk of the Campus.

This event is generously supported by Wilkinson Cameras (www.wilkinson.co.uk) who will be present at the venue with photographic equipment and accessories for viewing, examination and purchase.


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