Much praise has been accorded to photographer Tish Murtha for his powerful depictions of working-class life in Newcastle’s west end in the late 1970s and 1980s.
In 2013, the day before Tish turned 57, she passed away. Her daughter Ella has since put in many hours to continue her mother’s painting tradition. A feature-length documentary titled Tish is now in production. Tish’s work has already been the topic of feature books, articles in national newspapers and magazines, and significant exhibitions.
The municipality of Elswick, which has served as the setting for many of the photographer’s renowned images, opted to honor her by naming a new assisted living facility after her last year. On Tuesday, March 14, the Tish Murtha House in Wolsingham Street will host the official opening of Camera In Hand, Ella Murtha’s largest national exhibition of photography. On this day, Tish Murtha House also made its debut.
It felt incredibly amazing, Ella said. On March 14, a new group of Elswick Kids returned the photos to the structure that bears my mother’s name. It was profound beyond measure. What a delight.
Patricia Anne Murtha was raised in Elswick after being born in South Shields. She studied photography at Bath Lane College in Newcastle after leaving school at 16, and then she received a council scholarship to pursue documentary photography in Newport.