1969: Sirkka Liisa Konttinen
I grew up in Finland and having a passion for photography, I came to study filmmaking in London in 1968. With a small group of students from the film school I soon moved up to Newcastle upon Tyne to start the Amber Film and Photography Collective, with the aim of giving voice to working class and marginalised communities in the North East. In 1977 we established the Side Gallery on the Newcastle Quayside, dedicating it to socially engaged documentary photography. I am still an active member of Amber, after fifty years of photography and film projects. Byker, my first, most enduring and revisited project, keeps resurging in new forms to this day.
I begin my day most mornings round the year with a swim in the sea, actively cultivating the enjoyment of life by fresh challenges.
King Edwards Bay, Tynemouth