Thursday, May 28, 2020

Who's that girl?

One of the many lockdown projects yet to be achieved round these parts is finally - three and a half years after we moved in - getting pictures old and new up on the walls. Several recent purchases first need framing: a flyer-sized copy of a Sonic Youth gig poster designed in signature style by Jason Munn; prints by photographers Robin Weaver and Peter Mitchell; and a large signed poster of Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen's Girl On A Spacehopper, produced to mark the 50th anniversary of the Amber Collective, of which she is a key member.

The famous image, taken in Byker in 1971, instantly evokes the free-spirited independence of youth, and pays testimony to the ability of children to bring light and life to the most mundane and drab of settings. Konttinen's camera permanently suspends the girl in mid-air, ensuring she never has to come back down to earth. Here she talks about the circumstances in which the picture was taken, and the mysterious identity of its subject.

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