Youth Unemployment (1981) © Ella Murtha
'Youth Unemployment' is a collection of images taken from my mam Tish Murtha's 1981 project which is accompanied by her essay 'Youth Unemployment in the West End of Newcastle'.
Using my mams notes from the original exhibition, I can see her thoughts and selection process as she chose her favourite photograph's, and I have selected images that I feel she would be happy with. This book will be as authentic as it possibly can be without Tish's physical involvement.
Fresh from the success of the Kickstarter Colin Wilkinson ran for Jim Mortram's 'Small Town Inertia', I am over the moon to be working with Colin and Bluecoat Press on 'Youth Unemployment'.
The 'Youth Unemployment' Kickstarter will launch in May once 'Small Town Inertia' books and rewards have been fulfilled.
It has been been quite a rollercoaster to get to this point, but it is all coming together now, I am determined to make the book the way that I think my mam would have wanted it to be. It is massively important that I, as Tish's daughter, should be making this book, however I am blessed to be collaborating with some amazing people.
I wouldn't be at this point now, without the help of Gordon MacDonald and writer/curator Val Williams - I am looking forward to continuing to work with them both in the future. I am so happy to say that Val has agreed to write for 'Youth Unemployment'.
My mams former tutor, Magnum member David Hurn, told me that Tish was one of his favourite students. He has been a huge support and has also agreed to write text for the book.
I was also lucky enough to be offered help by photographer Paul Reas at the University of Wales, where my mam was once a student. Paul along with 3rd year photography student Lulu Preece, started the initial scanning of the archive, prioritising the 'Youth Unemployment' negatives and creating digital contact sheets of the images. Paul and Lulu have been an enormous part of this project. They enabled me to get to the point of selecting the images for the book from these digital contact sheets, together with my mams notes. I am forever grateful and so touched because of the link to Newport.
Thankyou so much to everyone involved so far, and also a big shout out to Jim Mortram for all of his support and for hooking me up with Colin.