Side Gallery reopens

Side Gallery reopens

Saturday saw the welcoming back of one of the world’s most respected photography galleries and bona fide local treasure, Side Gallery. After six months closed the gallery opened its doors with a stunning exhibition by renowned Northumberland Photojournalist Tom Stoddart.

Extraordinary Women documents the remarkable women Stoddart has photographed over his 50 year career as a photojournalist, covering some of the most serious conflicts and global events of our time. These include the fall of the Berlin Wall, the election of President Nelson Mandela, the bloody siege of Sarajevo and the wars against Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

The images themselves beautifully and unflinchingly document the day to day of living in areas of extreme unrest and political upheaval. Captured with dignity and humility, I was taken aback by how beautifully composed the images were given the precarious situations they were taken in. Some of them could be mistaken for a tableau or still from a black and white movie.

There is a real grace and sensitivity in how Stoddart captures his subjects. The Sarajevo images were particularly moving, with the women in the images showing a tremendous pride and resilience even when navigating sniper bullets and shielding their children.

Speaking to Chronicle Live, Stoddart praised the strength and resilience of the women in his photographs, “When a crisis engulfs a community it’s the women who turn to face the challenges head on. Their love of family and never surrender attitude drives them on to survive the miserable cruelty of conflicts, political persecution, natural disasters and health emergencies.”

Extraordinary Women marks the welcome return of Side Gallery and the re-emergence of cultural venues in the North East. The exhibition runs from Sat 26 September 2020 — Sun 13 December 2020. More info is available at amber-online.com