NEWS: Tom Stoddart – Extraordinary Women @ Side Gallery | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Head held high, Meliha Varesanovic defies Bosnian Serb sniper bullets and mortar fire in the Dobrinja neighbourhood of Sarajevo, June 1995 (c) Tom Stoddart

One of the undoubted skills of reportage photography is the ability to discovery the extraordinary in what may at first glance seem mundane. The best images convey emotion, placing the viewer at a moment in time that is beyond their ability to experience in the flesh. Newcastle’s Side Gallery, which reopens initially for three days a week from this month (Thursday-Saturday), consistently champions the very best of reportage and documentary photography, and for their first physical exhibition after lockdown they present the work of one of the region’s most celebrated photographers, Tom Stoddart.

The Morpeth-born photojournalist has had an incredible career and has captured momentous fragments of history; from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the war in Lebanon (during which he accompanied celebrated Sunday Times foreign correspondent Marie Colvin), to portraying the HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. His latest work is a collection, and accompanying book, entitled Extraordinary Women: Images of Courage, Endurance and Defiance, which celebrates the strong will of women throughout the world during times of war, poverty and hardship. The Newcastle gallery will show a selection of 70 photographs across two floors.

“When a crisis engulfs a community it’s the women who face the challenges head on.” Tom has said of the book. “Their love of family and ‘never surrender’ attitude drive them on to survive the miserable cruelty of conflicts, persecution, natural disasters and health emergencies.”

Tom Stoddart: Extraordinary Women is at Side Gallery, Newcastle from Saturday 26th September-Saturday 12th December. Entry is free, but online booking is required in advance

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