Swans, Gloves, Roses and Pancakes: Photos by Martin Parr in Tower Bridge’s Engine Rooms

  • Tower Bridge Exhibition presents its first major photography exhibition – with works by the acclaimed British photographer Martin Parr
  • Ancient and modern traditions, unseen private ceremonies and behind-the-scenes moments are captured to reveal the traditions and people that make up the unique character of the City
  • Join Royal Swan Markers, Yeoman Warders, City dignitaries and Aldermen in Parr’s unique take on the City of London
  • The exhibition will run from 21 November –31 March
  • A private view and Q&A with Martin Parr will take place on 29 November, Tower Bridge Exhibition Engine Rooms, Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UP
  • For further images or information contact towerbridge@kallaway.comor 0207 221 7883

As the City of London’s photographer-in-residence since 2013, Magnum photographer Martin Parr has documented the life of the City through the gaze of his lens. Parr has been granted unprecedented access to the ancient and modern traditions that make up the unique character of the City. From Swan Upping down the river Thames to Beating the Bounds at All Hallows by the Tower, Parr offers us his unique perspective on the ancient traditions and customs that continue to thrive in the City to this day.  

With his eye for uncovering details in the everyday, Parr has been able to capture moments that would normally go ‘unseen’; catching unguarded behind-the-scenes shots during the many processions, banquets and high-profile public occasions that take place within the City walls. From exploring quirks such as the City of London’s annual Pancake Race, to the Gloves Ceremony hosted by The Worshipful Company of Glovers at the Royal Courts of Justice and the Rose Ceremony held by members of The Company of Watermen and Lightermen. The resulting images offer a unique visual account of contemporary London, documenting and celebrating the human perspective - reflecting on their unique humour and exploring the contrast between modernity and ancient tradition at the core of the City foundations.

As part of Martin Parr’s Unseen City series, previously on show in the Guildhall Art Gallery, Swans, Gloves, Roses and Pancakes will showcase new and unseen works. The exhibition is an opportunity to see the City up close and personal, dispelling myths and sharing surprising insights into how this ancient organisation operates. 

Swans, Gloves, Roses and Pancakes will be on display in the Victorian Engine Rooms, home to the coal-driven engines that once powered the mighty Bridge lifts. What better place to celebrate the living heritage and human side of modern London than at the heart of one its most famous and best-loved symbols – Tower Bridge.

Dirk Bennett, Creative Exhibition Manager Head of Tower Bridge Exhibition, says: “We’re thrilled to welcome Martin Parr’s photographs to Tower Bridge Exhibition. Tower Bridge and its Engine Rooms are the perfect backdrop to these iconic images which celebrate London’s unique heritage. This exhibition invites visitors to the Bridge to explore London like never before - from one of the most photographed bridges in the world.”

 The exhibition runs from 21 November 2016 to 31 March 2017 and admission will be included in the entry price for Tower Bridge Exhibition.