RRB Photobooks are delighted to present the latest publication by Martin Parr, »A Year in the Life of Chew Stoke Village«. This book is comprised of images from Martins time spent in Chew Stoke in 1992 and includes text from Richard Chesshyre, from a piece originally commissioned for the Telegraph Magazine. Through the book gain an insight into the delicate social structure of Chew Stoke and the individuals who make the village what it is.
This new collaboration between RRB and Martin Parr is lavishly printed and includes over 40 previously unpublished images from the the 1992 project. A new text by Diane Smyth brings the work into a 2022 context both as documentary work and as a piece of Parr's long and varied career.
»A Year in the Life of Chew Stoke Village« is the culmination of a yearlong project in which Martin Parr immersed himself in the goings-on of a rural Somerset village on the outskirts of Bristol. At a time when house prices had fallen sharply across the country and young people were struggling to afford to stay in the village, the influx of newcomers had brought slight tensions across the community. However, during the colourful summer fete’s, the nights spent drinking at the local pub, and the many celebrations in between, Parr was able to build connections with the villagers, gaining access to all the village events over the year and an understanding of the people that live there. Martin Parr is one of the leading documentary photographers of our time.
Often described as a ‘chronicler of life’, he is renowned for capturing his unique view of society in a way that enables us to view things that seemed familiar in a completely new way. His work in Chew Stoke is just that; at first glance it may seem to be just quintessential English village life, but Parr’s images bring a sense of ‘human-ness’ to those photographed that makes it easy to form an understanding and connection to the area and the community of Chew Stoke.