Open for Business


Level 7 Gallery: 31 January - 5 May 2014

Open for Business is the story of contemporary British manufacturing and industry told through the lens of 9 Magnum photographers.

Jonas Bendiksen, Stuart Franklin, Bruce Gilden, David Hurn, Peter Marlow, Martin Parr, Mark Power, Chris Steele-Perkins and Alessandra Sanguinetti visited over 100 workplaces across the UK, from one-man businesses to FTSE 100 companies.

Their photographs take us from traditional, handmade crafts to modern, intelligent automation; from foundries and assembly lines to research laboratories and high tech cleanrooms, showing an economic sector of extraordinary resilience and diversity.

British industry faces several challenges and Open for Business reveals the daily struggle as businesses attempt to cut costs, streamline processes and level up to international competition. The project captures British manufacturing's effect on culture and community life, and celebrates the work, activities and lives of its employees.

These new commissions build on a long photographic history of recording manufacturing and create a contemporary British archive, to be gifted to some of the UK's most significant collections, including our own.

For more information about the project, visit the Open for Business website. See behind the scenes images of the photographers' shoots on the Open for Business Tumblr.

Open for Business Multistory Arts Council England

Open for Business is a collaborative project funded by the Arts Council England and in partnership with Multistory, Magnum Photos, this Museum, the Museum of Science & Industry, the National Railway Museum, the Science Museum, the University of South Wales, Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery, MShed and Street Level Photoworks.