Victoria Smith, MDY Intern, completes artist residency at Fireground Museum, Rochdale

We are pleased to celebrate the success of Victoria Smith, MDY Intern, in her Artist Residency at Fireground Museum, Rochdale. 

Victoria has spent the past few months exploring Fireground’s archives and interviewing former firefighters to discover the roles of photography and illustration in the fire service.

From training resources and product advertising, to forensic and investigation work and the recording of personnel or equipment, there has long been a need to photograph events as they happen.

She has found a wealth of original material at Fireground, from glass slides, film negatives, photographic prints and moving images covering more than 100 years, and has used her talents to produce original works of art showing the variety of subject and media.

Victoria built a darkroom in the museum which was a starting point of making work, inspired by the the darkrooms in fire stations, and spent some time creating abstract photograms of Fireground’s collections, a selection of which can be seen at the exhibition.

Victoria’s project is entitled “Red Light : The Story of Photography in the Fire Service” and explores the links between photography and firefighting over several decades, as well as depicting some of our more unusual objects in new and exciting ways.

To accompany the exhibition which includes a documentary style film, Victoria will be giving talks, during the 90th Anniversary open day at Fireground on Saturday 29th April 2023. The talk will demonstrate how photography was used by fire brigades over time, for training, recording and forensic purposes.


The talks are free to attend, normal charges apply to enter the museum and view the exhibition.


The artist placement forms part of the museum’s National Lottery-funded redevelopment project.