Open For Business At The Science Museum

by Cass Art

It's September again, which means it's back to school and time to start learning again. The Science Museum has embraced this with its exhibition Open For Business, a photography and film show that celebrates the resilience of British industry, artistic and otherwise.

Visitors can see British industry and manufacturing in a new light through the lenses of widely-acclaimed photographers.

Last year 9 snappers captured more than 100 workplaces throughout the country. They ranged from FTSE 100 firms to one-man band concerns. 

Plymouth’s Princess Yachts yachtmakers, Dewsbury’s Calder Dyeing, and Derby’s Bombardier train manufacturers are among the companies featured.

Stuart Franklin, Martin Parr, Jonas Bendiksen, Chris Steele-Perkins, Mark Power, Peter Marlow, Bruce Gilden, Alessandra Sanguinetti and David Hurn have the knack of even the most mundane appear intriguing. They are all members of Magnum, a highly-acclaimed worldwide photographic cooperative, whose offices include New York, Tokyo, Paris and London.

More than anything, the shots reflect the durability and  changing face of Britain’s industry to the current day.

Whether smart machines or high-tech cleanrooms, handmade crafts or assembly lines, the prints trace our workplaces’ incredible diversity and adaptability. They also expose the human struggle in the face of their employers trying to reduce overheads, automate production and trump the worldwide competition. The enterprise scrutinises the impact of manufacturing on local life and culture as well as being a celebration of British workers and workmanship.

Argentinian-born photographer Sanguinetti has been exhibited around the planet, including his home country, the US and France. His work shows all the imagination you would expect from a photographer whose childhood was spent counting shooting stars and waiting for UFOs.

Burma-born, Newcastle-educated Steele-Perkins is perhaps most famous for his work in Africa. He is not afraid to show scenes warts-n-all, enhanced by vast experience of social problems around the globe.

Sneak preview

Tempted? You can get an enticing appetite-whetting preview of the exhibition with some behind-the-scenes pictures of the nine photographer's shoots by exploring Open for Business Tumblr.

Feeling inspired?

Open for Business will be running at The Science Museum until 2nd November. 

Read more on the exhibition here

Image Credits:

Image 1 - A Weaver: ©Jonas Bendiksen/Magnum Photos

Image 2 - Angle Ring: ©Peter Marlow/Magnum Photos


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