True/Grit: A Celebration Of Northern Realism

The Newcastle-based Amber collective of photographers and film-makers has been documenting ordinary life in the north of England for nearly 50 years and this exhibition at the Side gallery in the city shows exactly why their work is so highly regarded.

True/Grit is an outstanding selection of photographs documenting the destruction of working-class communities in the region from the 1970s onwards. It was a time when, as the exhibition’s curator Graeme Rigby says, “there was a deliberate fire sale of industry” going on.

“What these photographers capture is the beginnings of a sense of the break-up of society,” he adds. “The glue which held these communities together was being dissolved. And it’s captured with considerable beauty.”

The photographs are indeed very beautiful and they evoke a range of moods and meanings.

At the most basic level, they document the lives and experience of people living and working on the edge.

There are children playing on

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