“You can read a lot about a country by looking at its beaches: across cultures, the beach is that rare public space in which all absurdities and quirky national behaviors can be found.”
In Life’s a Beach, one of Britain’s most beloved photographers takes us on a color-saturated journey through a place loved by all: the seaside. Intrigued by the general absurdities and local quirks of beachgoing, Martin Parr has photographed beaches across the world for many decades, creating images that range from closeups of sunbathers to shots of rambunctious swimmers caught mid-plunge. This exhibition presents photos of beachgoers on far-flung shores, including those of Argentina, Brazil, China, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Japan, the United States, Mexico, Thailand, and, of course, the artist’s native England.
Martin Parr (born in Epsom, England, in 1952) is a key figure in the world of photography and is recognized as a brilliant satirist of contemporary life. Parr is the author or editor of over thirty photography books, including Common Sense, Our True Intent Is All for Your Delight, and Boring Postcards. His photographs have been collected by museums worldwide, including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Modern in London. A retrospective of his work continues to tour major museums around the world since opening at the Barbican Art Gallery in London in 2002, and he was featured in Cruel and Tender, the Tate Modern’s major survey of photography in 2003. Parr is a member of Magnum Photos.
This exhibition is organized by the Aperture Foundation, New York.
Art on Tap: Zia at the Beach
Friday, May 15 | 7:30–9:30 pm
Telfair is proud to be a partner with Zia Sachedina—the creator of exotic collections of jewelry and accessories—to create a stunning fashion show celebrating the opening of Life’s a Beach. Be the first to explore this exhibition while kicking off the summer with a fashion show by Zia.
Members $15 | Non-members $25
Sponsored by 40 Volume Salon & Spa, Ashley Borders, Halo Talent Savannah, South magazine, Connect Savannah, and Zia Sachedina.
Shag Dance Lessons
Tuesdays, June 2, 9, 16, 23 | 6–7:30 pm
Price per lesson: $5 students | $10 members | $15 non-members
Life will truly be a “beach” as we beat the heat with Shag dancing. Lessons are taught by the Savannah Ballroom Dance Studio in the magnificent Telfair Academy Rotunda and are open to dancers of all levels, from beginner to expert. Space is limited, and advanced reservations are encouraged. Drop-ins are welcome for one or more lessons but are subject to availability. A small reception will follow the June 23 class.
Life’s a Beach Free Family Day
Saturday, July 11 | 1–4 pm
Free and open to the public
Get ready for fun in the sun! Have your photo taken at beaches around the world with our beach chair green screen. Explore the world’s beaches with search activities based on Martin Parr’s photographs. Make your own flip-books and kites, and see artists who work on the beach. Funding is provided by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Georgia Power Foundation, Inc.
© Martin Parr / Magnum Photos. From the Aperture traveling exhibition, Life’s a Beach.
Ocean Dome, Miyazaki, Japan, (detail) 1996
Lake Garda, Italy, 1999