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 excited to have planned my first exhibition of 'Youth Unemployment' at the Bridport Art Centre in Dorset for September 2017, and I'm over the moon that the Museum of London are selecting some of my mams Soho work to feature in a group exhibition in May 2018.
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