Jill Furmanovsky: Photographing The Invisible

The first ever exhibition of a life’s work by renowned music photographer Jill Furmanovsky at Manchester City Library from April 15th to June 24th 2023. Admission free.

For the last 50 years, Jill Furmanovsky has been photographing music’s greatest icons. Now, for the first time, Jill is opening a retrospective exhibition ‘Photographing the Invisible’ at Manchester Central Library displaying some of her most famous works and hidden gems from her extensive archive.

Guest curated by Noel Gallagher and photo-historian Gail Buckland, the show, which is presented by Rockarchve.com, runs for ten weeks and features over 100 images. Subjects include Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis, The Police, Bob Marley, Chic, The Rolling Stones, The Clash, The Cure, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, The Pretenders, Beyonce, to name just a few.

Bringing the stories behind the imagery closer, an audio tour narrated by Jill will be available for visitors to access through their own headphones.

Highlights include 'meditations from the pit' that capture the sheer joy and exuberance of live photography, intimate on-the-road shoots carried out for the music press of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and fashion-inspired portraiture from The Face era. There are sensitive images of reclusive subjects such as Jeff Buckley, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan, as well as open-armed collaborations with Chrissie Hynde, Madness, and her greatest muse, Oasis, for whom Jill has dedicated a whole section of previously unseen images. It is this mutual respect between Jill and artists that has made her one of the most celebrated photographers of her time.

Contemporary content includes photographs taken in her year as Abbey Road’s artist-in-residence in 2017 and shots from the Glastonbury Festival featuring Stormzy and Billie Eilish.

The first stop in an international tour, Jill is delighted that the exhibition is launching in Manchester - a city which holds a special place in her own history due to the many local bands she has covered over her career, not only Oasis, but Buzzcocks, Joy Division, The Fall, and The Smiths.

Throughout the exhibition, visitors will be drawn into Jill’s unique relationship with her subjects and the emotive quality of her work.

Jill says of her career, ‘I cherish working with musicians, but it was photography that captured my heart first.”

Guest curator, Noel Gallagher says of Jill, “All the great portraits, they’re shot with love and respect for the artists. She’s the best.”

Cllr John Hacking Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure said, "We are delighted that Jill has chosen to launch her new photography exhibition in Manchester's Central Library. Her connection with the city through her work with Manchester bands is clear and there is no better place to showcase her work than Manchester, a city which has such a rich and diverse music scene."

The exhibition is being sponsored by MPB Europe Ltd, Hipgnosis Song Management Ltd, BIMM Institute Manchester and Yvonne Gordon.

Special Events

In May two special talks have been scheduled in Manchester Central Library. For tickets and more information go to the Central Library website.
9th May : 6pm : Photographing the Invisible with Jill Furmanvosky and Jon Savage. Jill speaks to the British Pop Archive’s Jon Savage about curating her retrospective and what you have to leave out. 11th May : 6pm : A life in Music : Jill Furmanovsky in conversation with Mark Cooper. For the first time, former BBC Head of Music and long-time producer of Later with Jools Holland, Mark Cooper talks about a life in music with his long term friend Jill Furmanvosky.

Press Call Friday 14th April - Jill Furmanovsky will be available for interview at Manchester Central Library

Manchester City Library 15th April – 24th June 2023

St Peters Square, City Centre, Manchester, M2 5PD

Opening hours : Mon – Thurs, 9am - 8pm: Fri – Sat, 9am - 5pm.

Wheelchair accessible. 7 blue badge parking bays are located behind the library on Mount St

Quotes About Jill

“She reveals you to yourself.” Nile Rodgers (Chic)

“Through the honesty of Jill’s work, we are brought closer to the frailty and humanity of celebrity.”

(Neville Brody, designer of The Face Magazine.)

“Jill is one of my favourite photographers of all time.” Jools Holland

Musicians photographed in her 50-year career include many of the biggest names in rock: Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, The Clash, The Jam, Blondie, The Police, The Pretenders, Bob Dylan, Bjork and Oasis are but a few. She also directed a video each for Oasis and The Pretenders.

Jill's book 'The Moment' 25 Years of Rock Photography' (1995) is a seminal work in the genre. ‘Oasis - Was There Then ' A Photographic Journey' (1997) followed. The book ‘Oasis at Knebworth’ (2021) was on the Sunday Times best seller list.

Jill has won many awards for her music photography including The Jane Bown Observer Portrait Award (1992) and 'Woman of the Year' for Music and Related Industries (1988).

Jill celebrated her 50th year photographing rock bands professionally in January 2022. A retrospective exhibition of her work will open in Manchester Central Library in April 2023, and a documentary about her remarkable archive, The Invisible Photographer’ has a provisional release date of Autumn 2023.

Jill Furmanovsky is founder of the rock photography collective www.rockarchive.com celebrating its 25th year in 2023.

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