Monday Masters: Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

A Finish photographer Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen was nominated for our weekly Monday Masters challenge.

I personally couldn’t wait to investigate this photographer as I’ve never heard of her name before. One of the reasons why I love our weekly activity – I get to know and learn about photography Masters who are still unfamiliar to me. If that is your case too, dear reader, hop on board and join us in picking Your favourite image.

So here I am, sitting and reading about Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen and her story and thinking to myself – How can I not know such a phenomenal Master of photography??!! 

Taking up photography at the age of 12, Sirkka later moved to the UK to study filmmaking and with her fellow students she formed Amber film and photography collective which I recommend checking out for some fantastic documentary (and not only) photography work.

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. She continued to work there for some time afterwards. This resulted in the book Byker, which in David Alan Mellor’s words “bore witness to her intimate embeddedness in the locality”. In 1980 she became the first photographer since the Cultural Revolution to have her work exhibited by the British Council in China.

Favourite image:


It’s not easy to use written words in photos. They have to relate to the subject spot on in my opinion. I think in this image above it was done quite clever. The beautiful thing is that I kept going back to this photo and each time came up with a different interpretation. One time it’s a funny one, another time – a darker one. What is yours?

Additional articles on Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen;

Byker revisited  – a short video about Sirkka’s return to the place where she created her most important body of work.

Thank you for reading this and big thanks to David Barrett for introducing another true Master of photography.

Share your favourite image on Twitter using #MondayMasters or drop a link to your blog with the selected photo of the Master.

Never stop learning, till very soon!


2 comments on “Monday Masters: Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

  1. Sounds as if you enjoyed this one Yuri,you also trumped me with a pic I had not seen before,Sirkka and the Amber collective are certainly worth checking out for those with a interest in documentary photography. .

    Nice One !

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