Artist Commission: Interiors, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

Amber Film and Photography Collective CIC, would like to commission a visual artist or photographer with an established documentary, community art or socially engaged practice – to engage with the communities of North Shields, drawing inspiration from the work of revered photographer and founder member Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen. The Amber Collective have a deep connection to the communities of North Shields, through longitudinal film and photographic engagements spanning over fifty years. This work is now part of the AmberSide Collection and is also recognised by UNESCO in 2011, inscribing Amber’s Films and Konttinen’s photographic work into the prestigious Memory of the World Register. Konttinen’s Interiors is stunning in its simplicity and variety, and is synonymous with her unique and understated approach, placing the community centre stage. The work was created in 1979/80, in the housing estates in and around the Meadow Well area and forty years later, we would like to revisit and re-engage the same communities to respond and create their own contemporary digital exhibition, inspired by the original work.

This project is part of Amber’s new digital strategy and will be supported by the newly appointed Audience Development Coordinator, who will assist with the development and engagement of project partners, supporters and stakeholders.

We would like to invite expressions of interest setting out how artists would;
• Feed into the process of creating a high impact external exhibition of the original work within the community, utilising environmentally sustainable materials
• Engage local people to creatively respond to the work, including those who do not have access to online or digital technology over a 3-week period.
• Create, curate and disseminate a digital / online exhibition

Whilst we expect photography to feature strongly, we also expect the project to harness and reflect an expected variety of creative responses to the publication and exhibition of the original work. We expect project engagement to be interactive across social media platforms, and look for solutions to collate and incorporate additional responses.

The project will also run concurrent with the Side Cinema online screening of the Amber feature film Dream on (1991), set on the Meadow Well estate.

Project Timeline
Wk Commencing November 30th 2020: Artist Appointed
December 14th – January 18th 2021 : External exhibition planned and sited in community Monday Jan 25th 2021 : Project launched across multiple platforms
Friday February 18th 2021 : Project engagement concluded
Monday March 8th 2021 : Online Exhibition Launched

Artist Fee

The Artist Fee is £3,000 which will cover all aspects of the project. Additional support will be available from Amber for the production of digital training resources and there will be an expenses and materials budget of approximately £2,000 to cover the community exhibition of Interiors etc. The Artist fee will be paid in the following instalments.

Phase 1 : Planning and Development December 2020 £800.00
Phase 2 : Delivery January 2021 £1200.00
Phase 3 : Exhibition conclusion end March 2021 £1000.00

Please send all expressions of interest along with a CV via email to Closing Date : Monday November 23rd, 2020 at 12 noon

For further information about the Amber Collective, please refer to the website To see examples of Interiors by Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, go to

Amber Film and Photography Collective CIC
5-9 Side

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