The Coal Coast

Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

Landscapes exploring the post-industrial legacy of mining on the Durham coastline, part of Side’s ‘Coalfield Stories’ programme of production, it was developed between 1998 – 2002.

Revealing ‘a terrible beauty, the work was Sirkka’s first exhibition of colour photographs, a move necessary to capture the extraordinarily vivid colours created in part by chemical pollution. She had been led to a documentation of the beaches by the ex-miners of Easington’s allotments, who she was initially photographing. The exhibition was first shown at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in 2003. It was published in book form (currently out of print) and in 2015 Amber began work on a photo film of the Coal Coast images. Song for Billy was developed in 2016 as a collaboration with the New York group So Percussion.

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