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space hopper

The big picture: space-hopping into the future in 1970s Newcastle

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Finnish photographer Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen captures an exuberant childhood moment in the working-class district of Byker in Newcastle

Having come to London from Finland in the 1960s to study photography, Finnish-born Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen moved to the Byker district of Newcastle in 1968, with a plan to document the lives of the people who lived around her.

She took this picture of a girl in her dressing-up box frock on her space hopper in 1971. “She bounced past my camera that day to disappear down the cobbled lane with her dreams,” Konttinen told the Tate gallery more than 40 years later, suggesting that the girl’s “maverick splendour personified the vibrant working-class community where I lived”.

Pic: Girl on Space Hopper, Byker, 1971. Photograph: © Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, DACS/Artimage

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