Iconic Newcastle photo exhibition to return to its Elswick roots

Acclaimed Newcastle photographer Tish Murtha’s iconic Juvenile Jazz Bands exhibition is coming dwelling to Elswick the place she grew up.

It is getting used to launch the fortieth anniversary celebrations subsequent yr of Newcastle’s West End Women and Girls Centre.

The exhibition will preview on January 15 with a collection of large-scale projections onto the centre itself, supported by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

Tish was born in South Shields in 1956, however later moved to Elswick. She famously photographed the lives of her mates, household and area people and her work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the UK and internationally.



Dawn and mates – Toyband’. Juvenile Jazz Bands (1979) by Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha. All rights reserved.

Juvenile Jazz Bands was her first exhibition and was made whereas she was employed by means of a Youth Opportunity Programme at Side Gallery in Newcastle the place it was initially proven.

Tish died in March 2013 after struggling a sudden mind aneurysm the day earlier than her 57th birthday.

Her daughter Ella Murtha mentioned: “I used to be thrilled when the West End Women and Girls Centre requested if they might embrace an exhibition of me mam’s Juvenile Jazz Bands pictures as a part of their fortieth anniversary celebrations.



‘Toy Band – Cruddas Park’. Juvenile Jazz Bands (1979) by Tish Murtha

“It feels actually particular to be bringing the pictures dwelling to Elswick, and lighting up the constructing with the faces of among the fantastic girls and ladies of the West End.

“Hopefully – Covid-19 allowing – we are able to get a great deal of the youngsters again collectively, hear their recollections and have a very beautiful community-based occasion. Whether you favored them or not, jazz bands had been an enormous a part of the social historical past of the world and it is going to be fascinating to uncover the tales behind them.

The youngsters’s Jazz Bands had been a definite North East phenomenon within the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties, following the grownup jazz bands that emerged in working class communities after the First World War.

Tish travelled with the official Jazz Bands to native parades, however disliked their militaristic strategy and centered her digital camera on the ‘toy bands’ within the again lanes of Elswick – children who weren’t accepted into or couldn’t afford to be in a band.



Toy Band Noble Street’. Juvenile Jazz Bands (1979) by Tish Murtha

Instead, they clubbed collectively to create their very own tools, utilizing an old tablecloth for a banner held up with old broom handles and old pans as drums with the lids for cymbals.

Centre Coordinator Huffty McHugh mentioned: “We’ve needed to have a good time Tish’s work for a few years and this appeared like the right match as lots of our members had been in Juvenile Jazz Bands again within the day and we’re very pleased with Sophie Murtha, Tish’s niece who’s an award-winning member of our Domestic Abuse Peer Education workforce.”

West End Women and Girls Centre has been an important a part of the local people within the West End of Newcastle since 1981.

Last yr, 10,411 girls and ladies accessed the centre; over 566 periods and 40 neighborhood occasions had been attended by greater than 2,500 girls, ladies and their households. Five generations of households maintain membership.

The fortieth anniversary celebrations may also embrace the launch of the North East’s first Women’s Library, and ’40 Women and Girls’ – a landmark venture that includes tales and images of 40 girls and ladies who’ve been instrumental of their communities and the residing historical past of the centre.



‘Alleyway – Kenilworth Road’. Juvenile Jazz Bands (1979) by Tish Murtha

Stories written by Catrina McHugh MBE and portraits by photojournalist Phyllis Christopher had been commissioned as a part of Newcastle City Council’s artists in residence programme.

The venture shall be launched on International Women’s Day 2021 with a ebook, an exhibition and a large-scale projection of the pictures on the constructing.

Tish Murtha’s Juvenile Jazz Bands exhibition is open from January 18 to February 12, and there shall be a launch occasion with projections onto the West End Women and Girls Centre from 4.30pm to 6.30pm on January 15 to mark the official opening.

Tickets are free however want to be booked prematurely. To discover out extra, together with centre opening instances, Covid-19 security measures or ebook tickets, go to westendwomenandgirls.co.uk


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