The Tish Murtha archive is the gift that keeps giving and this project is my gift to my mam. The very last thing I can do for her as her daughter.
I am really honoured that a print of 'Angela and Starky' that my mam swapped with Magnum photographer David Hurn is currently being shown as part of the 'Swaps' exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff, running until 11th March 2018.
I am also working with Val Williams and Gordon MacDonald to co-curate a major retrospective Tish Murtha exhibition from across various projects within the archive. More details to follow.
I am having such a wonderful time doing this project and I am meeting some amazing people who are being introduced to me via my mam from beyond the grave. I hope that by doing this I am in some way making up for the sacrifices that Tish made for me career-wise when I came along and can make her proud.
During the past year, the negatives that Tish had lovingly kept all these years have been getting scanned with the assistance of the University of South Wales where Tish was once a student.
Paul Reas offered to help and I was honoured to accept. It felt so right especially with the negatives returning to where it all began.
Paul started the scanning project with the help of 3rd year student Lulu Preece, and between them they began to bring the archive back to life. Meeting Paul and Lulu was wonderful, and I am forever grateful for their help.
It is amazing looking through the thousands of unseen images, some I am seeing for the very first time. I am really enjoying the photo's that my mam took while she was studying photography in Wales.
The majority of scanning is now complete, and I am concentrating on the Youth Unemployment series initially, selecting images for the first book. Lulu has now graduated from the same course that Tish did, and I have collected the archive back as this new chapter unfolds.
© Ella Murtha