© John Stoddart

University of Liverpool PhD student Dan Warner’s work with the Open Eye Gallery (OEG) has left a valuable legacy for the gallery’s local and international visitors.

Dan selected photographs of Liverpool from the archive and researched the social landscape to present the images in the context of local history, particularly in relation to post-industrial
housing development.

This collaboration was made possible through LiNK, a PhD placement scheme pioneered in the University of Liverpool’s School of the Arts and supported by Business Gateway. LiNK now provides opportunities for PhD students from across the University to gain practical work experience on defined projects with partners from the cultural and creative industries for example FACT, the Bluecoat and National Museums Liverpool.

In a unique way, this work related to Dan’s thesis which focuses on the working class experience of living in British inner cities during the period between the mid-1960s and early 1980s. Oral histories were collected to piece together how working class inner city communities coped with and adapted to slum clearance, redevelopment, recession and decline.

Dan exhibited his work comprising around 25 photographs from the Gallery’s archive with recorded testimony and memories he collected from the photographer behind the shots and the general public. Memories were “paired up” to photographs that depicted similar scenes for a public event Dan delivered and the presentation showing the contextualised images was subsequently displayed in the Gallery on a TV monitor.

The gallery’s curator who worked with Dan, Thomas Dukes said:
“Working with LiNK connected the gallery and it’s visitors to the incredible research and practice at Liverpool University to the benefit of all parties.  Daniel Warner showed enthusiasm coupled with a high standard of structure and learning in our project to make the Open Eye Gallery archives more visible and accessible to everyone who uses the gallery.”

For further information on the scheme go to the LiNK web page.  Organisations interesting in hosting PhD students in the future can contact