ARTISTS / SIRKKA-LIISA KONTTINEN / ARTIST BIOGRAPHY [ VIEW THUMBNAILS ]

SIRKKA-LIISA KONTTINEN

(Born 1948, Finland)

CHRONOLOGY

1948

Born in Myllykoski, Finland

1960

Inspired by her aunt, starts taking photographs at age 12

1960s

Studies filmmaking at the Regent Street Polytechnic film school in London

Co-founds the Amber Collective; dedicated to documenting working class and marginalized communities in film and photography

1969

Amber Collective moves to Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England

Konttinen moves to Byker, a working class district of Newcastle upon Tyne, and documents the community over seven years

1971-1972

Photographs The Hoppings, the largest traveling fair in Europe

Returns to photograph the fair in 1976 and again in 1980

1973-1998

Documents life on the beaches in the North East

A film of her photographs, The Writing in the Sand, is released in 1991 and the book Writing in the Sand is published in 2001

1977

Side Gallery, dedicated to socially engaged documentary photography, is established by the Amber Collective

1982-1988

Konttinen photographs the lives and families of students at a local dancing school

A film titled Keeping Time is released in 1988 and Step by Step, the book, is published the following year

1991

Spends a year in her native Finland, where she produces a series titled, My Finnish Roots

1994

Letters to Katja, an Amber Film, is made about her time in Finland with her daughter

1998-2002

Explores the legacy of the coal mining industry in her series on the Black Beaches of County Durham

Coal Coast, a book on the landscape, is published in 2003

2003-2008

Konttinen returns to Byker and creates portraits of the multicultural communities living in the re-developed Byker Estate

The film about this new project, Today I'm With You, and the book, Byker Revisited, are both released in 2009

2011

The UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register inscribes Konttinen's photography and Amber's films as being of "outstanding national value and importance to the United Kingdom"

2016

Konttinen wins a Journal Culture Award for “Special Contribution to North East Arts and Culture”

Konttinen is the Keynote Speaker at the Urban Encounters conference at Tate Modern

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016

Living Cities
inaugural installation at the Switch House
Tate Modern, London, UK

2015

Coal Straiths
St. Mary's Cultural Centre, Gateshead, UK

The Hoppings & Byker Revisited
L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York, NY

2013

Byker
L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York, NY

2012

Captured in Amber
Laterna Magica, Helsinki, Finland

L'instant capturé
Carrê d'Art Nimês and Studio Prisme, Alés, France

2011

Writing in the Sand
Pohjanmaan Valokuvakeskus, Lapua, Finland
K.H Renlund's Museum, Kokkola, Finland

2009

Byker Revisited
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK

2003

The Coal Coast
Baltic, The Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK

2000

Writing in the Sand
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK
National Film Theatre, London, UK
Museum of Photography of Moderna Museet Stockholm, Sweden

1997

Writing in the Sand
Mediawave International Festival of Visual Arts, Gyõr, Hungary

1994

My Finnish Roots
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK (travels regionally)

1993

Writing in the Sand
Gothenburg International Film Festival, Gothenburg, Sweden
Le Festival du Film Britannique de Dinard, Dinard, France
Tatranska Galeria, Poprad, Slovakia

1992

Writing in the Sand
Galleria Nykyaika, Tampere
and Finnfoto, Helsinki, Finland

1991

Writing in the Sand
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK

1989

Byker
Ediciones Toldeo, Mexico City, Mexico

Step by Step
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK
Portfolio Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
Pavilion, Leeds, UK

1985

Byker
Hippolyte, Helsinki, Finland

Step by Step
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK (travels nationally)

1984

Step by Step
Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Wales

1983

Byker
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK

Byker
The Royal Festival Hall, London, UK

1981

Hoppings
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK (travels regionally)

1980

Byker
The Peking Art Gallery, Bejing, China
(tours The People's Republic of China)

1979

Byker
Municipal Theatre of Kronigen, Netherlands

1974

Photographs by Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, The Northern Arts & Northern Gasboard Fellow in Creative Photography '72 - '74
Bede Gallery, Jarrow, UK

1971

Newcastle and Byker in Camera
Bede Gallery in Jarrow, UK (travels regionally)

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2015

For Ever Amber
Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Work Rest and Play, Half a Century of British Photography
Art Gallery, Chengdu, China

Work Rest and Play, Half a Century of British Photography
Misheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China

Work Rest and Play, Half a Century of British Photography
OCT-Loft, Shenzhen, China

2014

The Photography Show (AIPAD)
Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY

2013

PGH Photo
Pittsburgh, PA

The Photography Show (AIPAD)
Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY

London Art Fair: Photo 50
Business Design Centre, Islington, UK

2012

A Tad Bit Strange and Somewhat Surreal: Photographs from the '60s and '70s,
L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York, NY

The Photography Show (AIPAD)
Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY

2011

Noorderlicht Photo Festival "Metropolis"
Groningen, Netherlands

2006

Making History
Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

2005

Coastal
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK

River: Documenting the Tyne
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK

2003

The Fleeting Moment Between Photography and Cinema
Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, Italy

2002-2005

Coalfield Stories
Photofusion, London, UK
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK
DLI Museum, Durham, UK
Mac, The Centre for Birmingham, UK

2000

Coalfield Stories, New British Photo Realism
LNiedersächsischen Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek in Göttingen, Germany

Amber 1969-2001
Centro de Cultura Antiguo Instituto at Gijón, Spain

1997-2000

Juuret Ja Siivet, Roots and Wings
Hämeenlinnan Taidemuseo, Finland (travels to major Finnish museums)

1992

Kolme siirtolaiskuvaajaa
Pohjoinen Valokuvakeskus, Oulu, Finland

1982

Ten Contemporary British Photographers
MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA
The Light Factory, Charlotte, NC, USA

1981

North Tyneside Survey
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK

1979

Quayside
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK (travels regionally)

1978

Beaches
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK

1977

Documents in the North East
Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK

1974

Photographs of the North East
Serpentine Summer Show 3, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK

SELECTED FILM SCREENINGS

2012

Byker
Le Bal, Paris, France

The Writing in the Sand
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Goethe Institute, Washington, DC

2010

The Writing in the Sand
PhotoFilm, Tate Modern, London, UK

2009

The Writing in the Sand
"Quand La Photo Infiltre Le Cinéma", PhotoFilm, Cinemathè que
Quebecoise Montréal, Canada

2008

The Writing in the Sand
"All That Cinema", Viva FotoFilm, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary

2007

The Writing in the Sand
Viva Fotofilm, Kina Caligari, Wiesbadener Fototage, Wiesbaden, Germany

The Writing in the Sand
Viva Fotofilm, Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany

The Writing in the Sand
Fotofilme, Filmhaus Nürnberg, Germany

2006

The Writing in the Sand
Fotofilme, Kino Arsenal Berlin, in cooperation with the Museum of Photography
Berlin (European Month of Photography), Berlin, Germany
Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Metropolis Kinematek, Hamburg, Germany
Academy of Media Art Cologne and Dokumentarfilminitiave NRW, Cologne, Germany

2000

The Writing in the Sand
The National Film Theatre, London, UK as part of Amber Forever International
Film Tour (supported by the British Council)
"Cycle de films: Le documentaire britannique", Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

1997

The Writing in the Sand
Mediawave International Festival of Visual Arts, Gyor, Hungary
Collectif Image Photofestival, Geneva, Switzerland

1995

Byker and Letters to Katja
"Celebrating International Film Collectives", Margaret Mead Film Festival, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, USA

1994

Letters to Katja and The Writing In The Sand
Toured by the British Council in Christchurch and Auckland, New Zealand

BIBLIOGRAPHY

2016

Sooke, Alaister, "What to see in the New Tate," The Telegraph

Wilson, Siona, "A Pavilion of One's Own," Artforum, February 2016

Brydon, Al, "Endframe: David with Daughters, 2008 by Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen," On Landscape

2015

AmberSide. For Ever Amber. UK: Pressision, Leeds

2009

Konttinen, Sirkka-Liisa. Byker Revisited. UK: Northumbria Press

2003

Konttinen, Sirkka-Liisa. The Coal Coast. UK: Amberside

2000

Konttinen, Sirkka-Liisa. Writing in the Sand. UK: Dewi Lewis/Amberside

Hiekkaan kirioitettu. Finland: Kustannus Pohjoinen / Amber / Side

Skrivet I sanden. Sweden: Barbro Schultz Verlag / Amber / Side

Écrit dans le sable. France: Barbro Schultz / Amber / Side

1989

Konttinen, Sirkka-Liisa. Step by Step. UK: Bloodaxe Books/Amberside

1983

Konttinen, Sirkka-Liisa. Byker. UK: Jonathan Cape

COLLECTIONS

Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, USA
New York Public Library, New York, NY, USA
Tate Modern, London, UK
The Side Photographic Collection, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

FILMS

2009

Today I'm With You, Amber film (54 mins)

1994

Letters to Katja, Amber Film (53 mins)

1991

The Writing in the Sand, Amber film (43 mins)

1988

Keeping Time, Amber film (57 mins)

1983

Byker, Amber film (53 mins)

FILM AWARDS

Byker

 

1985

The Grand Prix, Tampere International Short Film Festival, Finland

1985

Premio Documental, Festival Internacional De Cinema De Troia, Portugal

1984

The International Critics Prize and the Special Prize of the City of Leipzig, International Film Festival of Leipzig, Germany


The Writing in the Sand

1992

Le Prix Du Documentaire Européan, Cinéma Du Réel, Paris, France

1992

Grand Prix, The City of Melbourne Award for Best Film, Australia

1991

The Environment Award of Northern Electric Arts Awards, UK

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