Photographing the Invisible. Manchester City Library, 2023

Photographing The Invisible

I cherish working with musicians, but it was photography that captured my heart first

Photographing the Invisible is the first ever restrospective of a life’s work by renowned music photographer Jill Furmanovsky. The exhibition has been guest curated by Noel Gallagher and photo-historian Gail Buckland, and features over 100 images including subjects such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis, The Police, Bob Marley, Chic, The Rolling Stones, The Clash, The Cure, Amy Winehouse, The Pretenders, Beyonce, to name just a few.  As part of an international tour, Photographing the Invisible was launched at Manchester’s Central Library, UK  in 2023 and visited by over 24,000 visitors over 10 weeks.

The images portray Jill’s unique relationship with her subjects and the emotive quality of her work. Highlights include ‘meditations from the pit’ that capture the sheer joy and exuberance of live photography, intimate on-the-road shots carried out for the music press of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and fashion-inspired portraiture from The Face era.

‘Hidden from the audience, but close enough to hear band members exchanging private jokes, we could tell whether the musicians were merely going through the motions or actually enjoying themselves. Many of the bands played up to the camera without it affecting their rapport with the audience.’

David Gilmour, Pink Floyd|Abbey Road Studios, 1975

Leonard Cohen|Montcalm Hotel, London, 1979

Brian Eno|Basing Street Studio London. 1979

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.

It is this mutual respect between Jill and artists that has made her one of the most celebrated photographers of her time. Bringing the stories behind the imagery closer, an audio guide is available for visitors to access through their own headphones narrated by Jill, Noel Gallagher and Chrissie Hynde.

Pink Floyd|Nassau Stadium USA, 1980

Madness|New York USA, 1980

Eric Clapton|The Rainbow Theatre, 1981

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

Manchester holds a special place in Jill’s 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.

Billie Eilish|Glastonbury Festival, 2019

Produced by Rockarchive, Photographing The Invisible in Manchester was sponsored by MPB Europe Ltd – the largest global platform to buy, sell and trade used photo and video kit; Hipgnosis Song Management Ltd; Yvonne Gordon and BIMM Institute Manchester.

If you are interested in receiving more details about the exhibition and its potential hire please get in touch using the link below.