Charlotte King: The Martin Parr Foundation

It reminds me of a cross between the The Sims and the Truman Show.

29th May 2018

Charlotte is studio manager at the Martin Parr Foundation; a charity set up to preserve the legacy of influential British and Irish photographers, including Martin himself.

She is part of the creative team on Martin’s personal projects and supports the Foundation’s initiatives.

Image of Charlotte, the studio manager of the Martin Parr Foundation

Why did the Martin Parr Foundation choose Paintworks as its home?

It offered the space Martin wanted and felt like a vibrant and growing creative community. Martin has lived in Bristol for over 30 years so wanted to move his studio from London and open the Foundation here.

A lot of art organisations and galleries are very London centric so it’s nice to help move away from that.

What does this space feel like to you?

I don’t think Paintworks is exclusively a housing estate or a business park; more an amalgamation of the two. The Paintworks website describes it as a ‘creative quarter’.

When we first moved in the space reminded me of a cross between the The Sims and the Truman Show because of the colours and the way the spaces are laid out, it’s quite geometric.

Do you interact with anyone here?

Yes, our neighbours are Paintworks locals who come and visit us and we see lots of people walking their dogs. A lot of residents came to the foundation opening which was really lovely and we often see lots of familiar faces, either people from here or close by in Bristol.

Paintworks are also very good at putting on events in their event space, so we’ve been to a lot of those.

And what about the other businesses in Paintworks?

Yes, we know quite a few of them actually. We worked with Rachel from The Rose Shed a bit and Martin is doing a portrait shoot for another business on site on Monday. We are also excited for the Royal Photographic Society to move in opposite.


Do you feel your business attracts more people to Paintworks?

Yes definitely. Because of our location most of our visitors are from outside Paintworks and have planned a trip to the Foundation, but we do often get residents and locals popping in.

Image of a photograph hanging on the wall of the Martin Parr Studio

Do you see Paintworks developing further?

It will be really interesting to see how it changes over time. The next phase should be introducing lots of bars and restaurants, which we’re also looking forward to. That might bring more Bristol locals to Paintworks.

And finally, do you have any events coming up that we can look forward to?

Yes lots! We run events all the time, and have got some really interesting one’s in the coming months – everyone is welcome! They can be found here

Image of someone admiring the Martin Parr Studio, based in Paintworks

The Martin Parr Foundation was designed by Elizabeth Winter.