About Miki Slingsby


Photographed by Hag 6th June 1977, Digitally Coloured in 2014

This is a biography written by Miki shortly before he sadly departed in 2013 for this Jimmi Hendrix  site with a posthumous addition by Miki’s widow Lydia Lysle.

Miki was born in November 1946 to Fiona, a french teacher, and Frank, a lawyer. He was schooled in Sherborne, Dorset, where his father studied before him. Miki became a freelance photographer, studying at St Martins College of Art and Design, Regents Street Polytechnic and in Geneva. He started his career in fashion working for Bob Belton with Twiggy and other models of the day. He would fly all over Europe on fashion shoots but soon discovered that relatively few photographers made a living from it.

Miki was passionate about art and as he had spent a lot of time at college photographing painters like Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, Edward Ardizzone, Carel Weight and Peter Blake among others, he found himself working for galleries and publishers who wanted the artist’s work photographed. He photographed paintings, sculptures, objet d’art, jewellery and flowers for catalogues, magazines, cards and posters.

As time went by he got a reputation for handling rare, fragile and valuable pieces and when Electo Historical Editions were asked by the Public Records Office to produce a 900th anniversary facsimile of The Domesday Book to be presented to HM The Queen, he was offered the job of providing high quality 10 x 8 colour transparencies. It took him six months locked in a specially constructed security cage with his assistant Kerstin, together with the curators and conservationists, where they handled nearly 1,000 unbound folios of Great and Little Domesday. He subsequently got other appointments working with ancient documents like the Magna Carta, the Winchester Bible and the Mappa Mundi – some being highly illuminated and on vellum. He also photographed original paintings of plants for the Highgrove Florilegium for Prince Charles.

In the 1980s he photographed the guitar collection of Steve Howe, the guitarist with rock bands Yes and Asia, for the award winning book The Steve Howe Guitar Collection. As a result the publishers commissioned him to provide the photography for several other books on musical instruments. The work involved a lot of travel, both in the UK and the United States, photographing guitars owned by Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and George Harrison. He also travelled to Yoko Ono’s museum in Tokyo to photograph some of John Lennon’s guitars.

(It has now been revealed that Steve Howe is one of the figures standing back stage on the Orchestra Pit shots)

Miki was involved in several children’s history books, working with re-enactors e.g. The Daily Life of a Soldier, Pioneer Doctors, War Time Families and Plains Indians (for which he travelled to Little Big Horn). He photographed members of the Royal Family, artists and actors, and has worked in some of the most beautiful houses in the world as well as many of the museums and galleries of London. He had plans to film and record the paintings of artists talking about their work because there are lots of anecdotes and stories behind their work that he would have liked to record for posterity.

His last project was the re-working of these photographs that he took as a student 55 years ago in October 1967 of Jimi Hendrix.

Miki sometimes felt that he had achieved very little. We know that he achieved much, not just in his professional body of work but also in his life. He was stimulating company, amusing, challenging, kind, thoughtful and steadfast in his beliefs.

He was much loved by all of those who knew him, whether family or friends.

Miki will remain in all of our hearts.

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