Stunning images capture DMU campus over the decades

A series of stunning images showing how De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has changed over the decades has been created by a talent artist and recent Fine Art BA (Hons) graduate.


The Magazine (Grade I listed and dating from 1410) and DMU's Hugh Aston

Working as a Frontrunner with DMU’s archives and special collections department, Jonjo Elliott takes new and old photographs and manipulates them through Photoshop to create exciting images which document the campus’ rich history.

The 43-year-old said: “I've been really lucky as I'm interested in the history of DMU’s campus and have always loved the possibilities available through Photoshop.

“I hunt through the archives for vintage photos showing DMU as it was, search for the locations and re-photograph them with my phone, then combine the two images on the computer.

“It’s a great excuse to wander around campus and find places I didn't know were there.”


Senior staff, including the registrar and the principals Art School and Technical School, circa 1926 versus 2016 in DMU's Hawthorn Building (dating back to 1890)

Having graduated with a First-class honours this summer, Jonjo is starting a Fine Art MA this month, thanks to being awarded a Vice-Chancellor's 2020 scholarship which offers a tuition fee discount of up to 50 per cent.

He said: “The scholarship is a massive factor in my choosing DMU for my master’s.

“DMU has already given me a great insight into the world of arts, as well as an amazing series of opportunities and connections.

“I've been very lucky to be involved in all of these opportunities and all of this experience has made me a stronger person and artist.”


Now replaced by DMU's spectacular Vijay Patel Building, the Fletcher Building was opened by The Queen Mother in 1966

Some of those opportunities included travelling to the Houses of Parliament to interview a group of artists who were exhibiting there and working on a research project with artists at Leicester’s Phoenix Arts Centre.

His work has featured at the Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester and formed part of the 'Art and Algorithms' festival of digital arts in Florida for a second year running this summer.

Jonjo’s photographs of DMU’s ceramics and glass buildings - taken the day before they were demolished as part of the £136 million campus transformation project - were also recently displayed as part of an exhibition in the university’s Heritage Centre.


Designs by DMU students in the mid-1960s against the backdrop of the new Vijay Patel Building

On his time at DMU so far, Jonjo said: "I enjoyed every aspect of the course and threw myself into everything, that’s the secret to a successful DMU experience.

"The workshops are brilliant, the technicians and tutors are amazing, and the talks from visiting artists are really varied and enlightening. Also, the exceptional library was literally a second home to me during the course and now, amazingly, I work there in the archives!"

Since graduating, Jonjo has also been working as a studio manager at StudionAme in Leicester. The beautifully converted warehouse provides studio space for artists including recent DMU graduates and tutors, as well as a number of well-established artists.

Jonjo’s varied body of work is inspired by experience and landscapes, utilising a broad range of mediums from paint, photography and film to print, sculpture and installation. It can be seen online on his website and through his Twitter and Instagram accounts.


Jonjo with his charcoal drawing of The Joker, which sold at this year's Love Art exhibition

Posted on Tuesday 13 September 2016

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