Extraordinary Photos Of The Joy And Freedom Of Childhood At A Time When It Was Normal To Play Out In The Street

Tish Murtha believed that photography could change lives for the better, but sadly died of a brain aneurysm in 2013 before her dream of a book could be realised. In 2017 her daughter Ella ran a Kickstarter campaign in collaboration with Bluecoat Press to publish Tish Murtha’s acclaimed photographic essay Youth Unemployment. The book was an amazing success, selling out as limited edition hardback within three months.

Ella writes about these photos and her mother:

“The new book is her work centred around Elswick, Newcastle upon Tyne, in the late 1970s, when she first returned from college in Newport. Her images capture the joy and freedom of childhood at a time when it was normal to play out in the street, in a way that has been largely lost today.

The landscape may be rough, but the kids are making the most of what little they have. They have a humour and resilience that shines through in every image. I have always loved this series, and the feedback I have received from people visiting the exhibition, is that these images are very special.

I love the Elswick Kids, and have really enjoyed looking through the archive and almost travelling back in time with each image. The kids are always outside, and you very rarely see an adult, or cars (unless abandoned, burnt out and used as play equipment) plenty of dogs though. It is just another lifetime entirely. I was born later than these kids, in 1984, but I remember going out after breakfast in the holidays, exploring and having adventures all day, and only coming home if I got hungry, or it was dark.

My mam exhibited her Juvenile Jazz Bands (1979) and Youth Unemployment (1981) series, around the same time she also documented the campaign to save Scotswood Works and was commissioned by Tyneside Housing Aid Centre in conjunction with Shelter to make reports on children living in poverty and also housing problems faced by the elderly.
These pictures of the Elswick Kids came first, and while it was never an exhibition, and there is no text from Tish, they were obviously very important to her, and that makes them important to me. I feel the series is strong enough to stand alone, and deserves it’s own book.”

More: Tish Murtha, ‘Youth Unemployment’ h/t: flashbak
















(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below

More Inspiring Stories

Woman Uses Her iPhone To Capture Portraits Of Strangers On Her Daily Commute To Work, And The Result Is Impressive
UK Landscape Photographer Of The Year Awards
Photographer Spots Patterns And Shapes In Everyday Life, Creates Beautiful Minimal Photos
Photographer Christopher Soukup Captures Mysterious And Cinematic Nights In California
European Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2019 Winners Announced
This Mom Makes Costumes And Takes Awesome Photos Of Her Kids
The Extending Mini-Skirts In Paris In The Mid-1960s
"Loud Whispers": The Beautiful and Poetic Film Photographs by Melchi Dompreh
Wellcome Image Awards 2017
This Hidden Chilling Forest Path Looks Like A Trail To Mordor
Gorgeous Moody & Stylish Female Portrait Photography By Danny Batista
Portrait Photos Of White Wolf AKA Chief John Smith, The Oldest Native American To Have Ever Lived
This Artist Takes Pictures of People Right After Kissing Them
"People Of The Twenty-First Century": Photographer Spent 20 Years Documenting Fashion Trends Worn By People Around The World
Japanese Photographer Brings Action Figures To Life In Impressive Shots
Painting-Like Swimming Pool Photography
Photographer Asked Celebrities To Reveal Their Public And Private Personalities In Intimate Double-Portraits
Stylish New Yorkers Pose For Portraits With Their Bikes
London Underground 1970-1980 By Mike Goldwater: Down In The Dimly Lit Tunnels, The Tube Was One Photographer's Playground
"Fancy Rats": A Collection Of Domestic Rats Portraits By Diane Ozdamar
Fabulous Photos of Christmas Shopping In New York City, December 1910
The First Russian Color Photos, 1910s
Arnold Schwarzenegger Turns 69: Photo Tribute
Amazing Vintage Photographs of Linemen on Utility Poles at the Turn of 20th Century
Amazing Photographs Of Trees Growing Through Classic Cars
Brazilian Photographer Camila Fontenele De Miranda Transforms Strangers Into Frida Kahlo
Photographer Hires Low-Cost Retouchers On Fiverr, And The Results Are Hilarious!
UK Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016 Winners
Cheap Food and Proud Waitresses
Impressive Color Photos Of 60's Women Fashion Taken By Norman Parkinson