"Photographing the Invisible": 50 years of rock photography by Jill Furmanovsky at Manchester Central Library

Step into the world of legendary music icons through Jill Furmanovsky's lens in a captivating exhibition that celebrates 50 years of rock photography at Manchester Central Library.

By Manchester's Finest | 17 April 2023

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Photo: Jill Furmanovsky

“Photographing the Invisible” launched at Manchester Central Library at the weekend, the first-ever exhibition showcasing the life’s work of renowned music photographer Jill Furmanovsky. Running until 24 June 2023, this free exhibition is a must-see for music and photography enthusiasts alike.

Over the past five decades, Furmanovsky has captured the essence of music’s greatest icons through her lens, creating unforgettable images. The exhibition, guest curated by Noel Gallagher and photo-historian Gail Buckland, is presented by Rockarchive.com and features more than 80 images of legendary musicians like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Clash, and many more.

Visitors will experience the unique relationship between Furmanovsky and her subjects, as well as the emotive quality of her work, through an audio tour narrated by the photographer herself. The tour is accessible to visitors using their own headphones.

The exhibition highlights various aspects of Furmanovsky’s career, from live concert photography to intimate on-the-road shoots for music publications in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Additionally, visitors can expect to see fashion-inspired portraiture from The Face era, sensitive images of reclusive artists, and previously unseen photos of her greatest muse, Oasis.

Contemporary content in the exhibition features photographs from Furmanovsky’s year as Abbey Road’s artist-in-residence in 2017 and shots from the Glastonbury Festival, capturing artists such as Stormzy and Billie Eilish.

Furmanovsky shares her love for her work, stating, “I cherish working with musicians, but it was photography that captured my heart first.” Noel Gallagher, guest curator, praises Jill, saying, “All the great portraits, they’re shot with love and respect for the artists. She’s the best.”

Manchester holds a special place in Furmanovsky’s heart, as she has covered numerous local bands throughout her career, such as Oasis, Buzzcocks, Joy Division, The Fall, and The Smiths. Cllr John Hacking, Executive Member for Skills, Employment, and Leisure, expresses his delight, stating, “We are delighted that Jill has chosen to launch her new photography exhibition in Manchester’s Central Library.”

Photographing the Invisible runs until 24 June on the first floor of Manchester Central Library, before heading on an international tour. Admission to the exhibition is free.