Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

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Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen (born 27 March 1948, Kouvola) is a Finnish photographer who has worked in Britain since the 1960s.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Born in Myllykoski, municipality of Sippola (from 1975 part of the town of Anjalankoski, from 2009 part of the town of Kouvola), Finland in 1948, Konttinen studied photography in London in the 1960s, and cofounded the Amber collective, which moved to Newcastle in 1969.[2]

From 1969 Konttinen lived in Byker, and for seven years photographed and interviewed the residents of this area of terraced houses until her own house was demolished.[3] She continued to work there for some time afterwards. This resulted in the book Byker,[4] which in David Alan Mellor's words "bore witness to her intimate embeddedness in the locality".[5] In 1980 she became the first photographer since the Cultural Revolution to have her work exhibited by the British Council in China.[5]

Konttinen's next project was a study of girls attending dance schools in North Shields, their mothers, and the schools. The book Step by Step came from this.[4] The book influenced Billy Elliot."[6]

Three years of photographing the beach between Seaham and Hartlepool resulted in the series "Coal Coast".[7]

Konttinen later returned to Byker and photographed its new residents in color.[8] She is represented by L. Parker Stephenson Photographs.[9]


Awards and recognition[edit]



  1. ^ Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen (ed. Andrew Pulver), "Photographer Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen's best shot", The Guardian, 12 August 2009. Accessed 19 February 2010.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Byker in Black and White," The New York Times, February 7, 2013
  4. ^ a b "Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen", Amber Online. Accessed 19 February 2010.
  5. ^ a b David Alan Mellor, No Such Thing as Society: Photography in Britain 1967–1987: From the British Council and the Arts Council Collection (London: Hayward Publishing, 2007; ISBN 978-1-85332-265-5), p.84.
  6. ^ Konttinen, Sirkka-Liisa (2009). Byker Revisited. Northumbria Press. p. vi. ISBN 1904794424. 
  7. ^ a b Richard Moss, "Coal Coast: Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen Photos at the Baltic", Accessed 20 February 2010.
  8. ^ "Bringing Color to Newcastle," The New York Times, February 8, 2013
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Side Gallery Exhibitions 1977–1994", Amber Online. Accessed 19 February 2010.
  11. ^ 2000 exhibitions, Amber Online. Accessed 20 February 2010.
  12. ^ "Coalfield Stories", Amber Online. Accessed 20 February 2010.
  13. ^ "Coalfield Stories" Photofusion, 2005. "Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen – Exhibitions", Both accessed 21 February 2010.
  14. ^ "Byker Revisited", Reinventing the City. Accessed 21 February 2010.
  15. ^ Konttinen at L. Parker Stephenson Photographs
  16. ^ a b "The Writing in the Sand", Dfgdocs. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  17. ^ "2011 UK Memory of the World Register", United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO.
  18. ^ ICP Photographers Lecture Series

External links[edit]