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Tish Murtha’s Juvenile Jazz Bands Exhibition

Due to the ongoing COVID situation we will be postponing the Tish Murtha exhibition until Autumn 2022. We are really looking forward to rearranging and bringing these brilliant photos back home to Elswick when it is safe to do so.

We celebrate our 40th Anniversary celebrations bringing Tish Murtha’s iconic Juvenile Jazz Bands photographs home to Elswick in partnership with The Tish Murtha Archive.

Tish was born in South Shields in 1956, but later moved to Elswick. She photographed the lives of her friends, family and community to highlight and confront the social challenges she saw and experienced.

Juvenile Jazz Bands was Tish’s very first exhibition made while she was employed through a Youth Opportunity Programme at Side Gallery and shown there in 1979 before touring. The Jazz Bands were children’s marching bands, and a distinct North East phenomenon in the 1970’s and 80’s. The young people she photographed as part of the Juvenile Jazz Band exhibition showed how tenacious, resourceful, clever and resilient they were (and had to be) – Tish was always fiercely protective of them.

Many of our members were in jazz bands back in the day and we are very proud of Sophie Murtha, Tish’s niece who is an award-winning member of our Domestic Abuse Peer Educator team.

Come along and see if you can spot yourself or anyone you know and share your memories of Elswick and the Jazz Bands.

All photographs Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha all rights reserved. With thanks to Baltic for technical support and Amber Film & Photography Collective for printing support.