Oasis at Maine Road © Jill Furmanovsky
Former Oasis star Noel Gallagher has endorsed and co-curated a new exhibition in Manchester celebrating the work of rock photographer Jill Furmanovsky.
For the last 50 years, Jill Furmanovsky has been photographing music’s greatest icons. Now, for the first time, her work is the centrepiece of a fantastic retrospective exhibition ‘Photographing the Invisible’ at Manchester Central Library displaying some of her most famous works and hidden gems from her extensive archive.
And as an extra bonus for Oasis fans, the exhibition is guest curated by Noel Gallagher and photo-historian Gail Buckland. The show, presented by Rockarchve.com, runs for ten weeks and features over 80 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.
Throughout the exhibition, visitors will be drawn into Jill’s unique relationship with her subjects and the emotive quality of her work. Bringing the stories behind the imagery closer, an audio tour narrated by Jill will be available for visitors to access through their own headphones.
The highlights included her work in the 80s for the magazines like Smash Hits and The Face, taking on board how a more colourful and video-influenced medium music had become in the early MTV era.
Yet it doesn’t take anything away from her ‘meditations from the pit’ that capture the sheer joy and exuberance of live photography, intimate on-the-road shoots carried out for the ‘inky’ music press of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. 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.
The Oasis collection really highlights the obvious mutual respect between Jill and artists that has made her one of the most celebrated photographers of her time.
As Noel Gallagher says of Jill: “All the great portraits, they’re shot with love and respect for the artists. She’s the best.”
What makes the exhibition special is that it’s the first stop in an international tour, but 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.
Cllr John Hacking, Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure, said of the exhibition at 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, Hipgnosis Song Management Ltd and BIMM Institute Manchester and Yvonne Gordon.
The exhibition is on first floor exhibition space, Manchester Central Library, 15th April – 24th June 2023, St Peters Square, City Centre, Manchester, M2 5PD