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Ninety five year-old Coventry photographer ‘Masterji’ is revelling in his new found fame.
Maganbhai Patel, also known as ‘Masterji’, launched his first book during an event at St Mary’s Guildhall in Coventry.
The 128-page book, which features 66 images taken by Masterji at his studio is Stoney Stanton Road, was released almost a year after his work came into the national spotlight.
Tarla Patel, Masterji’s daughter, said: “Dad’s story has reached a worldwide audience and it has been absolutely incredible.
“He’s been getting phone calls from India, Canada and all over the UK from people saying that they’ve seen his pictures either on the web or in magazines. He’s really enjoying it and I have seen him rejuvenated over the past year or so.
“It’s a personal story to us, of course, but it has a much broader appeal and is of huge significance for Coventry in the way he has captured migrants from India in such a beautiful way.
“I believe it’s an inspiration to everyone – he ran a small business in Coventry and, at 94, held his first exhibition and at 95 launched a book and has received great recognition.
“Being part of the UK City of Culture bid has been brilliant and if the city was to win, how many more stories like Masterji’s could be uncovered and showcased to the world?”
The event was a Coventry Great Place Project organised by Photo Archive Miners, whilst being supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England. Masterji’s work is also supported by the Coventry City of Culture Trust.
The launch event attracted over 100 people.
Masterji’s work was displayed around the Guildhall and also allowed attendees to hear from the photographer himself, his family and Coventry City of Culture Trust.
Laura McMillan, Manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “I was honoured to speak at the launch of Masterji’s book.
“It has been amazing to share this story and to have helped him reach audiences around the globe".
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