Tag Archives: poverty

The era-defining legacy of Tish Murtha.


Patricia ‘Tish’ Murtha is another photographer I’ve been wanting to write a post about for quite some time. And, like my previous post about Saul Leiter’s early work in New York, Tish Murtha captured the essence of working class Northern England during the late 70s and 80s under Thatcher.

7b490caba3a350705ada2f97f9829e36

Tish Murtha 14/3/1956 – 13/3/2013. © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

Unlike Leiter, Murtha’s work focuses predominantly on the socially deprived. One of the reasons I love her work so much is that I can empathise with a lot of the shots. I can see myself in them as a kid growing up in Batley in the 60s and 70s.

youth-unemployment-13-kenilworth-road

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

Her images also remind me of the early social documentary work of legends like Bill Brandt and Don McCullin. The sort of work we don’t see enough of. That’s because people don’t like to look at it. Because it tells us the truth about the society in which we live.

Local Boys in Bradford 1972

Don McCullin

billbrandtlamethwalk

Bill Brandt

One of the things a great photographer does is make the viewer ask questions. Like, who are they? What are they doing now? In this case, who started the fire? Did they start it? Why are they unconcerned? What are they looking at?

Tish Murtha doesn’t just capture images of the economically deprived in our society, she captures joy and despair. Fear and determination. Hope and uncertainty. Perhaps most importantly – love and kinship.

 

864x576x2

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

5aff57b5892913cd92f354c9eedc2941

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

3b6d5657b52a0c00370b8692a5b29a8b

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

6a00d83451ebab69e2022ad39955fb200b

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

Tish-Murtha-15-Youth-Unemployment-

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

GIA0040K_07.TIF

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

d4aae9d554902650cffe2c9bc11a3f4b4cc0a03f_1100

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

c01663b5117f6d050a9c1404a8510385

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

5246a2af6cb3d3acebac7255ca88f67d

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

59dcad797fa44cb198000014.width-1440_NamGkDKQaRTwMcgP

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

6dadfb0720ef8f6ab0c33dbd20842b4dd63cd82a_1100

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

02_elswick-kids-supermac-1978

Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha, All rights reserved.

Tish Murtha would have been have been 64 next month. Sadly, she died at the tender age of 56 in 2013 of a sudden brain aneurysm.

The legacy of Tish Murtha is carried on by her daughter Ella who has kindly given me permission to publisher her mother’s work, and to whom I owe a debt of gratitude.

Ella posthumously published collections of her mum’s work in the books Youth Unemployment and Elswick Kids which you can find here.

You can also get exhibition prints here.

I could continue this post with Tish Murtha’s work for as many Google pages there are showing it. But that would leave you with nothing to do. To find out more about her era-defining work – and how she saved the lives of four women through organ donation – why not explore her life and work here.

Happy birthday Tish.

4 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Children, Children's books, Children's stories, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Economy, Education, health, History, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, love, mental health, Uncategorized, Writing

The ‘alternative’ George Osborne speech.


The Chancellor, George Osborne.

The Chancellor, George Osborne.

NSFW or kids.

In today’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne has [allegedly] admitted that he’s made a ‘right, royal cock-up of the economy’. In a speech to the House of Commons, Osborne [allegedly] said that he ‘couldn’t give a rat’s ass’ about the consequences, as it would only affect snivelling little poor people anyway.

‘I’m not arsed what these scroungers think,’ he [allegedly] said. ‘I’m fucking minted! And they’re hardly going to contribute to the coffers in my retirement. It’s the bankers and top business people I need to keep sweet if they’re going to pay for my mansion in Cheshire. That’s why they’re getting all the tax breaks. And who’s going to pay for it? Why, the poor of course. It’d be tragic if it wasn’t so fucking ironic.

‘I saw this great documentary the other day called, “The Hunger Games”, and I thought we could introduce something similar over here, where dole dossers and people on minimum wage have to battle it out for grub. Last family standing gets first dabs at the Foodbank. Besides, there’s too many of the fuckers, and none of them vote for us, so it’s a win-win.

‘And don’t get me started on the ‘bedroom tax’. I can’t believe anyone fell for that bollocks. We’re thinking of introducing a ‘bathroom tax’. Those dirty bastards never wash anyway.’

Asked why Britain’s deficit was growing rather than shrinking, Osborne [allegedly] said, ‘Shut the fuck up, you plank. Those fuckwit voters haven’t noticed that the economy is stagnant and that austerity measures have utterly failed to reduce the deficit or kick-start the economy. People are more skint now than they were when we took office. Well, except for me and my rich mates, of course. We’re fecking coining it in.’

When quizzed about the reduction in unemployment figures, he gave a wry grin and [allegedly] said, ‘IDS has played a blinder there. He basically gets people off Jobseekers by getting Atos to register them as self-employed. They still sit around all day doing fuck-all but they get Working Tax Credits instead of JSA. It’s great for the stats.

‘But there’s always the parasites who say they’re too sick to look for work. IDS just sends them back anyway. If they don’t go, he slashes their benefits in half. One bloke he’d kicked off sick benefits had the audacity to get his missus to ring up and say he was dead. Fucking dead! Can you believe it? Sheesh, some people will do anything to get out of work. IDS must be doing something right though, even the bankers think he’s a heartless twat.’

‘Right then, piss off, I’m late for a champagne breakfast with Merrill Lynch.’

Of course, this is all hearsay and has yet to be confirmed by official sources. Our chief reporter has it on good authority that it was said by some blood-sucking turd, who was seen draining the life out of a pensioner, and we just put two and two together.

5 Comments

Filed under Comedy, community, Creativity, Economy, Politics, Writing