A celebration of the life of beaches in the North East of England, captured between 1973 and 1998.
For a 1991 exhibition of the work, coinciding with the release of Amber Films’ The Writing in the Sand, Konttinen wrote: ‘The photographs in this exhibition were taken over seventeen years on beaches between Druridge Bay and Hartlepool; most of them in Whitley Bay, which has been my favourite beach and home town for seven of them. My daughter, when four, made an observation: ‘It’s only half an hour from Newcastle to the beach, but when you’re asleep, it’s only half a minute!’ In the blink of an eye from the city to the seaside, and to the freedom that awakens the child in the toughest of city dwellers.’ She continued working on the project until 1998, when she began to document to the legacy of mining along the cliffs of Durham in The Coal Coast. Writing in the Sand was published by Dewi Lewis in 2000.
All images © Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen