Description

Between 2010 and 2012 Peter Marlow photographed the Nave’s of all forty two of England’s Anglican cathedrals using only natural light at dawn. The task was a considerable challenge, especially in terms of gaining access. Says Marlow: “Although I had decided that the right approach was to photograph with all the lights off, it was very difficult to convince the administrators at each cathedral to let me do it. It required a vast number of telephone calls and follow-up emails for them to give me access before sunrise and to arrange for staff to come in early.” Pictured here is Carlisle Cathedral, also known as Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, England.

By blending observation and wit with reason, I want my work to generate a sense of the unexpected, the hidden, and the seemingly spontaneous

Peter Marlow
© Peter Marlow | Magnum Photos

Although gifted in the language of photojournalism, Peter Marlow was not a photojournalist. He was initially, however, one of the most enterprising and successful young British news photographers, and in 1976 joined the Sygma agency in Paris. He soon found that he lacked the necessary appetite for the job while on assignment in Lebanon and Northern Ireland during the late 1970s.

After those days, Marlow’s aesthetic shifted – in that he made mainly color photographs – but his approach was unchanged. The color of incidental things became central to his pictures in the same way that the shape and mark of things had been central to his black-and-white work. Marlow had come full circle.

He started his career as an international photojournalist, returned to Britain to examine his own experience, and discovered a new visual poetry that enabled him to understand his homeland Having found this poetry, he took it back on the road: he photographed as much in Japan, the USA and elsewhere in Europe as he did in the UK. Peter Marlow died in 2016.

© Peter Marlow | Magnum Photos

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox

Stay in touch
Stay up to date every Thursday with Magnum photographers’ activities, new work, stories published on the Magnum website, and the latest offerings from our shop.
Be the first to know about recent Magnum Shop drops. From new books and limited editions, to special offers, you can find it all on the weekly Magnum Shop newsletter.
Get fortnightly tips and advice articles, find out about the latest workshops, free online events and on-demand courses.
Learn about online and offline exhibitions, photography fairs, gallery events, plus fine print news and activities, on a monthly basis.
Know when our quarterly 7-day square print sale is coming.
Monthly updates on the latest assignments, photographer projects and collaborations with brands.