The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2017 > Only In England

25 February - 7 May

Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr examines the close relationship between the work of these two important photographers and their fascination with the English.

Intrigued by the eccentricities of English social customs, Tony Ray-Jones spent the latter half of the 1960s travelling across England, photographing what he saw as a disappearing way of life. Humorous yet melancholy, these photographs were a departure from anything else being produced at the time. They quickly attracted the attention of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London where they were exhibited in 1969. Tragically, in 1972, Ray-Jones died from Leukaemia aged just 30. However, his short but prolific career had a lasting influence on the development of British photography from the 1970s through to the present.

These images had a profound influence on photographer Martin Parr, who has made a selection from the Tony Ray-Jones archive for this exhibition, including previously unseen photographs, from the 2700 contact sheets and negatives in the archive at the National Media Museum, Bradford. Shown alongside these are Parr’s early black and white photography The Non-Conformists, unfamiliar to many, which documents a declining traditional way of life in 1970s Hebden Bridge.

Only In The North


Be in for a chance to win £1000 or an Impossible Camera!

To celebrate this exhibition we invite photographers of all ages to take inspiration from Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr, and to share their own unique images of Northern England.

Through this project, we hope to capture images that represent the distinctive character of the North today. They can show anything from iconic scenery and landmarks, to the people and customs that give Northern England its unmistakable identity and charm.

For more information, click here>

Application form here>


Related Events


Not Only in England

25 April, 2.30

Not Only in England

Join Dr Simon Ward, whose subject Not Only in England: Non-conformist Documentary Photography both Sides of the Iron Curtain in the 1970s and 1980s, complements the current exhibition Only in England. Dr Ward is a Senior Lecturer at Durham University where he teaches German literature and visual culture. Organised in conjunction with the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture at Durham University. 

 


Jonathan Long: Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, and the Face of the Nation

6 May, 2.30

Jonathan Long: Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, and the Face of the Nation

Join Jonathan Long, Professor of German & Visual Culture at Durham University whose talk Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, & the Face of the Nation complements the current exhibition Only in England. He regularly reviews exhibitions and photographic publications for Source Photographic Review. Organised in conjunction with the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture at Durham University. 


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The Bowes Museum grounds are open!


Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Café Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.