Patricia Anne ‘Tish’ Murtha (14th March 1956 – 13th March 2013)
The third of ten children, Tish Murtha grew up in the West End of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Whilst studying at Newcastle College of Higher Education her lecturer persuaded her to study documentary photography at Newport College of Art, which was newly set up by Magnum photographer David Hurn.
When asked in her interview by Hurn what she wanted to photograph she said “I want to take pictures of policemen kicking children”. Hurn said it was the shortest interview he’d ever done because he knew exactly what she meant and knew she was going to be a social photographer.
Graduating in 1978 Tish returned to Newcastle and began to document the daily lives of the people in her home community of Elswick, a marginalised area hit hard by the decline of Tyneside’s once thriving shipbuilding industry.
The images captured are some of the most powerful images of British social photography of the last 50 years.