David Jenkins: ZX.29

This slide is a photo of John Dalton College with the Mancunian Way in the foreground.

I chose it for a number of reasons.

I grew up in Sheffield in the 80s and 90s and hated much of the modernist and brutalist architecture I came across, associating buildings like Sheffield’s Town Hall extension (A.K.A. “the Egg Box”) and Park Hill flats with ugliness, grimness and depression. However, I have learned a bit more about these architectural styles recently and have a new appreciation for the concrete structures I disliked in my youth. The two structures in this photo are ones I have read and heard about. As a result, the photo represents my new perspective on architecture.

Both structures are visible from my current workplace and I like the being able to compare the same view I have now with the one the photographer had at the time.

Finally, from a purely aesthetic point of view, I like the way the whole slide looks. I like the muted and rich colours of the photograph itself. I like the damaged plastic mount. I like the sticker, the labels and the (apparently typewritten) text on them. It conjures positive associations of and “old”, “used” and “analogue”, which are values that I feel can complement and synthesize with the “new”, “developing” and “digital” world to positive effect.

David Jenkins
Senior Assistant Librarian
MMU Library



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