Press Releases 2005-06

Date Title
3 May 2006 Fine Art Forum transcript published in full, online!
27 March 2006 Northamptonshire artists Sir Henry Dryden and J L Carr now online
16 March 2006 The Learning Index: New e-learning resource puts images into context
8 March 2006 The City of the Future
23 February 2006 The Textiles Collection: a new resource for research, teaching and learning
2 December 2005 Posters of Conflict from the Imperial War Museum
25 October 2005 Top fashion designers go online
19 August 2005 Sunlight on a Broken Column
10 August 2005 Re-visiting Romanesque sculpture in Britain and Ireland

Fine Art Forum transcript published in full, online!

Forum faces: Shezad Dawood, Mark Hampson, Su Stockwell, Gavin Turk,, Tamiko O'Brien, Richard Wilson

The stimulating results of a Fine Art Forum, organised by, have recently been published online for the benefit of the Visual Arts HE/FE and Research communities. The Forum brought together, into a studio space, a number of art practitioners/teachers in order to debate some of the key issues arising from the teaching of Fine Art practice in the contemporary educational environment. The Forum was a collaborative project between VADS, the CNAA Art Collection Trust and the University of East London.

"...there is too little debate and discussion about what goes on in the art school.." William Furlong

The discussions took place over the course of one day, and were recorded digitally. We are now pleased to announce the publication of the full transcript, downloadable from . In the document, a number of contemporary practicising artists/teachers discuss and debate their own experiences and views of teaching and studying Fine Art, in the presence of an invited audience of artists, teachers, academics and students of fine art. The Forum was chaired by the audio artist William Furlong, and participating artists included Richard Wilson, Gavin Turk, Mark Hampson, Susan Stockwell, Tamiko O'Brien and Shezad Dawood. As well as the full edited transcript, there are also video and audio clips on the website, alongside selected extracts and quotes.

"art schools have become pretty conservative spaces whereas once they were the last bastion of maverick thinking...." Mark Hampson

The website was created (by VADS) to celebrate the history and achievements of Britain's art schools. As well as publishing this transcript and other contextual pieces, essays, interviews and critiques, the site is home to a digital collection of art objects drawn from a group of 10 art schools and includes the significant CNAA collection. In its initial phase of development covers a period from the mid 19th century through to contemporary practice and includes a wide range of media. The resource provides a showcase for the excellence of UK higher education in fine art and provides access to primary sources of importance to researchers that might otherwise remain hidden, disconnected or inaccessible. The National Collection contains some 250 paintings, sculptures, movies, prints and drawings by more than 150 artist-practitioners who studied or taught at degree (or equivalent) level in schools of art over more than a century. The website incorporates a rich body of information to support research and scholarship and will continue to be developed over coming years.

Please go to to explore the collection.

Northamptonshire artists Sir Henry Dryden and J L Carr now online

A print of the church of St. Andrew and St. Mary, Grantchester, Cambridgeshire

VADS is pleased to announce the launch of two new collections promoting the works of Northamptonshire artists Sir Henry Dryden and J L Carr.

The Sir Henry Dryden collection includes thousands of Dryden's drawings, plans, and notes that were presented to the town of Northampton after his death in 1899. The original collection is currently located in Northamptonshire Central Library. Dryden's work includes studies of buildings and historic sites and monuments throughout Britain and Europe, such as his Watercolour of Astwell castle near Wappenham and detailed sketches of church interiors and exteriors, including the print of the major restoration faults at St. Albans abbey. In some cases Dryden's work is the only record of structures that no longer exist.

Joseph (James) Lloyd Carr is perhaps better known as an author. He became headmaster of Highfields Primary School, Kettering in 1951 and during his time in Northamptonshire he produced a series of paintings of scenes from the county, including landscapes, buildings and architectural details which are all represented here.

Produced with JISC funding, through the X4L Rapid programme the collections are the result of a partnership between Tresham Institute of Kettering, University College Northampton and the Northamptonshire Libraries and Information Service. The aim of the project was to identify, develop and re-purpose materials from the art, media and performance studies curricula, from National Diploma to foundation level.

The result is two collections which make available a rich source of architectural and landscape drawings and paintings.

For more information about the Sir Henry Dryden Collection see:

For more information about the J L Carr Collection see:

The Learning Index: New e-learning resource puts images into context

Thousands of high quality visual arts images take centre stage in the Learning Index, a new richly illustrated e-learning resource from VADS.

Using a range of visual arts topics, including fashion and textile design, product design, the crafts, print-making and social sculpture, the Learning Index provides self-contained learning and teaching packages, copy-right cleared and free for use in Education. Features of the Learning Index include: image galleries, glossaries, bibliographies, other image views and related images.

The content for these unique materials has been written by specially commissioned subject specialist authors and lecturers, often based on their own teaching experiences. Their work adds depth and dimension to the VADS image catalogue by interpreting the collections from an expert's point of view.

Often, one of the primary barriers to the use of digital collections is the lack of time to engage with new resources on offer. The Learning Index offers ready made packages of information that demonstrate the relevance of VADS image collections to teaching needs therefore saving valuable time and effort.

Learning Index materials are easy to use employing a traditional walk through approach to learning and a uniform design. This uniformity allows the resources to be re-usable and more adaptable to a variety of learning environments - an essential element in today's resource intensive market.

The Learning Index is available at

The City of the Future

An updated database of the films selected for this unique project (most of which are sourced from the UK National Film and Television Archive) is available now to download from VADS.

The City of the Future project sets out to explore the contrasts between the familiarity of old city fabric, the strangeness of the past and the newness of present-day experience. Using archive film of the past century and other documents of urban experience in literature the project will, when completed, develop a critique of present-day and possible future spatial experience.

Of the 2,174 films listed, 494 have been viewed, and viewing notes transcribed into the database. These are updated periodically, following, for example, identification of and visits to locations. Most of the films are included as documents of urban space, but the selection also covers transport, communications, oil, electrification and some colonial subjects, including railway and port construction.

The City of the Future is a research project at the Royal College of Art, London, supported by the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council. Patrick Keiller is an AHRC Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at the Royal College of Art, a partner institution in the AHRC Centre for British Film and Television Studies.

The database is available to download from:

The Textiles Collection: a new resource for research, teaching and learning

Guatemalan cotton blanket

VADS is pleased to announce the release of a major new resource from The Textiles Collection at the University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester.

Containing over 3000 artefacts, The Textiles Collection ranges from Coptic textiles dating from 800-1000 AD through to British woollen cloths, Kashmir shawls, African strip weaving and Scandinavian furnishing fabrics from 1950 to 1990.

Linda Brassington, Teaching Fellow 2005-06 and Senior Lecturer in Printed Textiles at the University College for the Creative Arts, Farnham Campus, stresses the importance of The Textiles Collection as an educational resource for practitioners and historians and as a foundation for new research, "This rich and stimulating collection of world textiles has supported the practical study of woven and printed textiles for over forty years."

Now, in a digital form, the resource illustrates the visual and tactile subtleties of textiles in a two-dimensional environment. Each image has been carefully created to describe the particular qualities of its subject - expressing the fold and drape of a textile; communicating the fibre, structure and finish of woven cloths; and illustrating pattern, repeat and scale in printed fabrics.

Many notable designers and hand weavers of the twentieth century are represented and with the addition of The Textiles Collection VADS now has an invaluable catalogue of textile-based resources for research, learning and teaching.

Fore more information about the The Textiles Collection see:

Posters of Conflict from the Imperial War Museum

Alfred Leete's famous poster design showing Lord Kitchener, 1914

There were few more powerful mediums for influencing public opinion in wartime Britain and abroad than posters. They were used, most famously, for recruitment - think Alfred Leete's famous design of Lord Kitchener and James Montgomery Flagg's 'Uncle Sam', but also for all kinds of propaganda in general, promoting an official viewpoint and justifying the need for wartime restrictions.

The Imperial War Museum has the largest and most comprehensive poster collection of its type in Britain, documenting the social, political, ethnic and cultural aspirations of warring nations from the First World War to more recent conflicts. The collection includes work by leading twentieth-century designers from Britain and abroad, and is an essential resource for looking at the development of mass communication, propaganda, publicity, commercial art and graphic design.

Over 3,000 posters from this internationally important collection are now available via VADS. The digital images form part of the AHRC Posters of Conflict project carried out in partnership between the Imperial War Museum and the Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University. The first two-years work of this three-year project are now available online, with more to come...

The Posters of Conflict collection complements other Imperial War Museum collections already available from VADS including the Concise Art Collection and the Spanish Civil War Poster Collection.

VADS now has over 60,000 high quality images freely available for use in research, learning and teaching.

Top fashion designers go online

Womenswear designed by Yves Saint Laurent

Pierre Cardin, Yves St. Laurent, Christian Dior, Chloe, Guy Laroche, Nina Ricci and Mary Quant are just some of the top designers making up a veritable who's who of fashion at the London College of Fashion's Woolmark Company Collection.

These 'cool' wool fashions may no longer be on the catwalk but they can now be seen online via VADS. The black and white photographs date from the 1940's through to the early 1980's and capture both the fashion of the time and the style of photography. The press releases, which in some cases are still attached to the photographs, give additional information about the garments, designers/manufacturers, the photographer and any points of interest reflecting the promotional style and language of the time. All of the images were generously donated to the London College of Fashion from The International Wool Secretariat, now The Woolmark Company.

The Woolmark Company collection has been added to with the help of Heritage Lottery Fund grant, and now includes over 2000 further digital images. VADS is pleased to be delivering these additional images which also complement other London College of Fashion collections already online including its College Archive and Cordwainer's Shoe Collection.

VADS offers over 50,000 fully cross-searchable images free to use and copyright-cleared for research, learning and teaching.

For more information about the London College of Fashion's Woolmark Company collection see

Sunlight on a Broken Column

Bollywood Breaks Sampler, CD Sleeve, Outcaste Records, 2000

A new digital collection from VADS has brought together nearly three thousand images from the South Asian Diaspora Literature and Arts Archive (SALIDAA), an organisation created to highlight the richness and diversity of contemporary South Asian literature and arts in Britain.

The SALIDAA collection covers five main areas: literature, visual arts, theatre, dance and music and includes material in the English language dating, approximately, from 1947 to the present. Examples of work from this archive include an eclectic collection of artwork, photographs, flyers and exhibition programmes from Avinash Chandra, one of the most successful contemporary Indian British painters; album art from Outcaste Records, a major label in world music, and excerpts from Anita Hosain's semi-autographical novel Sunlight on a Broken Column which explores themes of family, rebellion and social and political change as India is on the verge of Partitition.

Although not comprehensive, the SALIDAA collection provides a representative sample of the artistic and cultural contribution made by South Asian people to the developments of arts and literature in Britain.

VADS is pleased to be delivering this interesting collection and now has over 50,000 freely available and fully cross-searchable images for research, learning and teaching.

For more information on SALIDAA go to

Re-visiting Romanesque sculpture in Britain and Ireland

St Michael and the Dragon from St Leonard's Church, Seaford, East Sussex, UK

Romanesque stone sculpture pervades buildings throughout Britain and Ireland. It can be found in parish churches and cathedrals, houses and halls, castles and museums throughout these isles. Rarely, however, do we get to spend time actually looking at this rich part of our heritage in detail. A new resource of over 10,000 images is now available via VADS that lets you do just that.

The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland (CRSBI) is an electronic archive of British and Irish Romanesque stone sculpture. It exists to photograph and record all the surviving sculpture, making this important part of British and Irish heritage available over the internet.

The significance of this evolving project as an authoritative scholarly resource cannot be understated as significant quantities of previously unrecorded material have come to light and there are many examples of sculpture that are being recorded, catalogued and photographed in an academic context for the first time.

Records of Romanesque sculpture in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Cambridgeshire (including Ely Cathedral), Cheshire, Hampshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Sussex, Warwickshire and Worcestershire are already available online.

CRSBI complements other VADS' architecture and sculpture based resources including the Exeter Cathedral Keystones & Carvings: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Sculptures & their Polychromy collection ( and the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association collection which contains images and textual information on over 2,300 public sculptures and monuments in Britain (

For more information on CRSBI please go to:



about        contact        terms of use        image credits        © 2008