Martin Parr captures Morris Minor cars abandoned by their owners to the landscape of the west of Ireland.
Production of the Morris Minor ceased in 1971 but for photographer Martin Parr there is an aesthetic beauty in the models he finds abandoned in the west of Ireland.
The celebrated English photographer moved to Ireland in 1980, partly because the sanity of the place appealed to him and partly to develop his technique as a photographer.
Martin Parr did not pursue the usual sources of inspiration, such as the Irish scenery or its people. Instead he became obsessed with the trail of wrecked and abandoned Morris Minor cars that he saw in fields everywhere he went.
I thought this would be a good idea to actually stop, when I see them, go out and take photographs of them, and build up a series of photographs of Morris Minors.
Between 1948 and 1971 some 1.5 million Morris Minors rolled off the assembly lines. Driving his own 1955 model, Martin Parr scours the west of Ireland for derelict, decrepit and abandoned Morris Minors.
Its amazing where they turn up, on bogs on top of mountains, by the side of the road.
Experience has taught Martin Parr that if he sees one Morris Minor, it is highly likely there will be two or three lying about nearby. This is thanks to the loyalty of Morris Minor owners who would never consider buying another brand of vehicle.
That the abandoned cars become part of nature appeals to Martin Parr's aesthetic,
The more trees that are growing out of them, the more weeds that are growing out of them the better they are for me because it’s almost as if they are rotting back into the earth.
Martin Parr is frequently amazed at the various uses for an forsaken Morris Minor. He has seen them used for keeping hens, chickens or dogs, to store hay and even as a place to grow chrysanthemums.
At the fourth Galway Arts Festival, 32 black and white prints of Martin Parr’s Morris Minor photographs are being exhibited. 'Abandoned Morris Minors of the West of Ireland’ is his first show of Irish work since moving to the country.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 May 1981. The reporter is Jim Fahy.