19th Oct, 2019

Photography exhibition hailed great success by City of Culture bosses

A PHOTOGRAPHY exhibition by one of the city’s oldest snappers has received rave reviews and international recognition following support from the city’s bid to become UK City of Culture.

The spark is back in the eyes Maganbhai Patel, better known as Masterji, as the Masterji and Coventry exhibition ended at The Box at Fargo Village.

Featuring a range of pictures from the 94-year-old’s collection which were curated with the family by the Photo Archive Miners, the exhibition displayed images of South Asian immigrants who moved to Coventry in the 1950s.

The exhibition was made possible by Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture – and Tarla Patel, Masterji’s daughter, said it has been a joy to listen to her father and watch him recount the stories behind each of the 70 photographs.

Tarla said: “My father is a very humble man who wouldn’t shout about his delight at the exhibition.

“But you can see an inner smile at the fact that his work is getting so much attention.

“The exhibition has given him and my mother a new lease of life.”

Guests, friends and family went along to a special showcase of the exhibition, along with the man himself.

Tarla added: “My dad was poorly when the exhibition began, so this is the first time that he has seen it all laid out and it’s absolutely wonderful.

“You can see the sparkle in his eyes as he talks about the photos and the stories about the people that appear in them.”

Laura McMillan, manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “This archive of work is absolutely extraordinary and is exactly the type of exhibition that Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 wants to showcase.

“We want to hear more stories like Masterji’s and show the city is full of amazing and creative people.

“Work like Masterji and others just shows the vibrancy and talent Coventry has to offer.

“This exhibition has captured national and international attention and has put the city in a very positive light.”

The exhibition is part of a wider series of events including the public launch at the Godiva Festival and Mogwai playing Atomic at Coventry Cathedral and Against Prejudice.

Coventry City Council, The University of Warwick, and Coventry University are Principal Partners of the bid and are providing significant support.

Bid sponsors include the Ricoh Arena, Jaguar Land Rover, Friargate, Coventry Building Society, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham Airport and City Electrical Factors.

Visit www.coventry2021.co.uk for more information about the Masterji exhibition or Coventry’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

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