Month: May 2015

Stephen Boyd Davis: 4194A

This slide from the Festival Pattern Group at the Festival of Britain 1951 is significant to me personally and culturally.

My late father, Alec Davis, was the first editor of Design magazine from 1949. This Design Council slide evokes that period, the founding of the Council of Industrial Design, the “Britain Can Make It” exhibition at the V&A in 1946, and the (now quaint and patronising? – sorry, Dad) commitment to modernism and to “educating” the public about design. The remit was also to persuade industry – the subtitle of the V&A show was “Good Design and Good Business” – a mission that has arguably never been very successful with dire consequences for UK industry.

The other evocative aspect of this slide is the idea behind its imagery. It is a reminder of a period of optimism – the war over, rationing coming to an end, rising employment, the Welfare State including the National Health Service – that included great hopes for science and technology. While many designs continued to glorify the more traditional aspects of nature such as flowers, foliage and seed-heads, some like this one celebrated the imagery enjoyed by crystallographers and others with a technologically enabled view of the world. This celebration of the previously invisible echoes for me the excitement surrounding Hooke’s Microgrphia of 1665 with its revelatory engravings of sights first seen through the microscope.

Stephen Boyd Davis
Professor of Design Research
School of Design, Royal College of Art


Jackie Haynes: P G .22J. 5

I picked this slide originally for the excellent Project[ed] Voices Exhibition. It’s good to have the opportunity to show it in Adopt a Slide as I was one of the members of the public mysteriously dis-invited from participating in the exhibition. I had planned to re-purpose the lift up to the exhibition as a Levitating Lightbox by attaching an A3 acetate of the slide to the ceiling. As things transpired, the acetate was attached to the mirror in the private space of the nearby Public Convenience:

This slide was randomly selected from a tray of slides waiting to be re-filed. My challenge was to pick any slide and rapidly identify a connection to a current preoccupation. The connection was immediate: I was on my way to the Merz Barn in the Lake District for the annual Entartete Kunst memorial event. Kurt Schwitters and Heinrich Davringhausen were both exiled from Hitler’s Germany.

Jackie Haynes
Artist (MA Textiles 2014)

Greta Davies: R12.81

I chose this Bridget Riley slide as her work has been a great influence to me this year. Looking at the optical aspects of a work that can be created simply by lines or shapes and the way this can have a big effect upon the body.

Greta Davies
3rd year Fine Art

Annabel Dover: J4.A.38; 13

Constables at Wythenshawe
I live very near to Flatford Mill and the National Trust has planted and shaped the landscape to mimic the portrait in the Haywain.

Piccadilly Gardens
I went to Manchester to visit my sister when she lived there. She had a huge high ceilinged room and Happy Shopper basics salt. We walked through Piccadilly gardens and she cried which was very unusual for her. I saw that she was very depressed.

Many years later I went again with my now husband. He had a panic attack in Piccadilly Gardens and fled. One of the few Lowry paintings I like is of Piccadilly Gardens. It’s a semi birds eye view and I see the gardens like that as somewhere where you leave your body. A sort of mental health vortex.

I’m an artist and lecturer researching the Victorian photographer Anna Atkins and Victorian family albums.

Javier Sola Diaz: XX7.3A.029

The Visual Resources Centre has been a great content provider during my Practice 2. I have realised the value of this resource at the school.

By working just with images during my project I have strengthened my ability to create a visual narrative.

The work produced during my Practice to has result in a small publication that is being sold at Magma Books in Manchester and Good Press in Glasgow.

Javier Sola Diaz


Nadine Nevitt: 51755

Throughout this year I have been working on a project about my hometown in North Wales. Paul Graham’s work has been an influence during my project for its aesthetics as a lot of his work including this one of the ‘Coloured Kerbstones, Crumlin Road, Belfast 1984’ reminds me a lot of the place where I grew up, for its empty streets and quietness. This slide represents a place, a troubled time and a history, which should not be lost or forgotten.

Nadine Nevitt
3rd Year Photography Student
Manchester School of Art

Helena Lee: ZP-087

I was introduced to Adopt a Slide through another archival project – The Anglo-Nordic Archive. Artist Sara Davies initiated this project, inviting Nordic artists living in North West England to explore how we experience our Nordic identity in our adopted home. Hot off the task of taking photos from our surroundings that remind us of our Nordic home, I went in to the Visual Resources Centre.

I approached the task of finding a slide with the same rules that I had adopted for The Anglo-Nordic Archive; to find something that moves me and something that has meaning both for me and for others (especially other Scandinavians). I had recently had this experience when I passed by the North West Film Archive (lots of archives here…). I stopped and realised that when I looked at the building an early visual memory of my Mum’s workplace in 1970s Stockholm had been brought to the surface. I took a photo and moved on.

When searching for slides to adopt, John brought me a series on Nordic architecture. I immediately recognised Stockholm’s Town Hall – one of my favourite buildings in the world; an elegant red brick building with minimal detail. Then my eye fell on the slide above. The visual memory files in my brain did a double take – is this my Mum’s workplace? Or the North West Film Archive? No, it’s actually a Danish University that I have never seen in real life, but as a modernist red brick building with overhanging ivy and large windows allowing for optimal light, it moved me just as all of these buildings seem to stir something in my heart and mind.

Helena Lee
Photographic artist