Byker

Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

Seminal documentation of the community of terraced streets in Newcastle’s East End, demolished to make way for Ralph Erskine-designed Byker Wall Estate in the 1970s.

Konttinen, a founder member of the Amber collective moved to Byker when the group came to NE England in 1969. She lived there until 1976, when her own flat was demolished. In 1983 Amber released a film of the same name and the work was also published in book form. Shown widely throughout the UK and internationally, In the early 1980s it was toured by to China, along with the work of Ashington’s Pitmen Painters, the first British exhibition after the Cultural Revolution. Konttinen returned to document the Byker Wall Estate in the 2000s.

All images © Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

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