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The Photographer's Gallery will be putting on an exhibition that charts the remarkable career of documentary photographer Patricia Anne "Tish" Murtha.
The exhibition is split between six major bodies of work: Newport Pub (1976/78); Elswick Kids (1978); Juvenile Jazz Bands (1979); Youth Unemployment (1980); London by Night (1983) and Elswick Revisited (1987–1991). The exhibition will also include some of her personal letters and other ephemera.
Tush was 20-years-old when she left Newcastle to study at the Newport College of Art in 1976. The earliest series in this show, Newport Pub, dates from this period – where she recorded the realities of everyday life for the regulars of a pub in a deprived area.
When she later returned to the North East she began documenting the children playing on her local streets, which led to her getting a government-funded job. Juvenile Jazz Bands was created whilst she was working for this scheme. She initially enjoyed the backing of the band organisers, but ignored their expectations of producing glamorous images and focused on the militaristic nature of the band.
Murtha's interest in unemployed youth grew and grew, and the figures in her series are often her own friends and family who witnessed the dereliction of young lives up close. She tried to use her photography to confront the impact of political decision-making, and in 1981 her work was even debated in the House of Commons.
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Find more exhibitions during October
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