Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell
Martin Bell's groundbreaking 1984 Oscar-nominated documentary Streetwise introduced us to the world of a group of teenagers who made their way on the streets of Seattle through sex work, begging and small-time drug dealing. Of these unforgettable kids, the charismatic and unyielding thirteen-year-old Erin Blackwell, also known as "Tiny", became the protagonist of one of Mary Ellen Mark's most enduring and memorable photo reportages.
Tiny, who earned her street name due to her size, dreamt of living on a horse farm, of diamonds and furs, and of having ten children. Mary Ellen Mark's work on this project was first presented in Life magazine in 1983 and later as the book Streetwise in 1988. Following that first encounter with Tiny over thirty years ago, Mark and her husband Martin Bell continued to regularly photograph and film Tiny,respectively, creating what became one of their most significant projects. In 2015, Mark's book Tiny: Streetwise Revisited was published by Aperture, with her full engagement and collaboration. Mary Ellen Mark died, having completed all of her work on this collection, which contains the most powerful images from her earlier book Streetwise, and gives us an insight into Tiny's life, from a thirteen-year-old to a middle-aged mother of ten children.