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Collection Favourites | Part One

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

Our Curator, Trustees and Invigilators choose their Collection Favourites

As part of our exhibition 'Collection Favourites' we asked our curator, trustees and invigilators to let us know which artworks were their favourites and why. Here we share some of those with you.

Elizabeth Green, Student Gallery Invigilator Patrick Heron

Crambe Vicarage: Night, 1949, 1949

Oil on canvas

My favourite piece in the collection is Crambe Vicarage: Night, 1949 by Patrick Heron. I love the intensity of the colours, especially the emerald green. The angular, messy shapes give the painting a really energetic, expressive feeling.

Lola Gabellini-Fava, JCR Art Fund Chair

Percy Wyndham Lewis Portrait of William Wadsworth, 1920

Black chalk and wash on paper

My favourite piece in the collection is the Portrait of William Wadsworth by Percy Wyndham Lewis. As an English student, I chose this piece because of a lecture I attended last year on the Vorticist movement and the early 20th century literary magazine, BLAST. Realising that our JCR Art Collection had a work by Wyndham Lewis - who founded the magazine - I felt very lucky to be involved in such an amazing collection. In particular, I am fond of the use of charcoal and the muted, monochromatic tones, which give the portrait a very intimate feel.

Lily Westcott, JCR Art Rep and JCR Art Fund Trustee

John Piper

Design for Stained Glass Windows at Llandaff

Watercolour and black ink on paper

Piper not only designed dramatic stained glass windows, but also theatre sets, reflected in the dramatic staging and colours of this design. I am interested in the range of media Piper drew on and designed, including tapestries, fabrics and ceramics. As someone who approached art through textiles and design, I especially like the skill of bringing stained glass into the modern movement and the ability to play with medium. (Pictured far left)

Charlie Collins, JCR Art Fund Treasurer

Evelyn Williams

Lament 2. Then the Trouble Came, 2009

Oil on canvas

I used to walk past this painting most days in 1st year, and at first really didn't like it. I thought the faces reminded me of some sort of Edward Burne-Jones portrait stretched over a Henry Moore sculpture: like a hyper 'zoomed-in' version of the golden stairs. When it was early evening the painting, facing a large window in staircase 8, became quite terrifying as the pale faced eyes seemed to follow you around the building. Over the course of the year, however, I came to love the paintings peculiarity, and thought the tormented faces took on a surreal pathetic quality for me. The faces that first seem ghoul like become, after a while, sorrowfully playful.

Megan Knock, JCR Art Fund Trustee

Barbara Delaney

Red River Ever Moving, 1994

Oil on canvas

This piece is bold and immediately catches my eye. The colour red dominates the artwork and the powerful brush strokes creates a sense of power and strength. The single red rectangle is an interesting touch.

Ailsa Clark, History of Art Placement

Angela Palmer

Head, 2004

Glass, acrylic and light

Angela Palmer’s Head offers interesting questions about the ‘self’ and space - her method using two dimensional brain scans to form a three dimensional head reminds us that our experience of space is constructed and can be manipulated. Palmers work shows an intersection between science and art that is not often considered particularly in the modern education system that increasingly emphasises STEM. Head reassures me that the science and art can be and should be reconciled to offer new and exciting questions about ourselves and the world around us.

Lauren Evans, Student Gallery Invigilator Michael Tilley

The Window

Oil on board

I really like this one because of its use of different simple shapes and careful use of warm colours to stand out against the dark blue shades. The whole image - especially the juxtaposition of the tower, tree, and sphere - reminds me of something out of a surreal fantasy world. (Pictured middle right)

Qianhui Yang, JCR Art Fund Trustee

Tom Phillips

Rima’s Music, 2005

Comic book collage on paper

My favourite piece is Rima’s Music by Tom Phillips. I particularly like the blend of colours in this piece; the somewhat muted green background is perfect with the vibrancy of the reds, blues and yellows. As a collage, I feel like you notice something different every time you look. There’s also something about the deliberate imperfectness that I’m particularly fond of - the horizontal lines are not completely straight, but straight enough to know that it is supposed to be a straight line… I think this is quite a cheerful piece and can remember the first time I saw it in person to be surprised by the size of this piece - it’s so much smaller than you think it would be, yet it is packed with so much detail. (Pictured middle left)

Harry Deacon, JCR Vice-Presidents and JCR Art Fund Trustee

Tim Braden

Private Houses, no.4, 1998

Oil on board

My favourite piece from the collection is Private Houses, no.4. This oil painting by Tim Braden is a remarkably simple piece. The foreground is dominated by an expansive grassy hill drawing the eye to an imposing, angular building perched atop. Murky forestry withdraws at the crest to reveal the blockish Private Home. A mellow palette is easy on the eye – seemingly framed by deeper border tones to accentuate the central luminescence. There is a suggestiveness to the placement of the Private Home, its true scale or design relatively obscured. The viewer is invite to consider the choice of situation, the shadows across the structure and the privacy in isolation of this home. (Pictured bottom)

Tatjana LeBoff, Curator

Prunella Clough

Fishermen with Sprats, 1948

Oil on canvas

I really enjoy studying Prunella Clough’s Fishermen with Sprats – there is always something to discover when looking at it. I am intrigued by Clough’s style of painting, which is slightly sculptural. I find Clough’s artistic practice particularly interesting as she often sketched using words and shapes rather than representational drawing. The entries for this painting in Clough’s sketchbook reads as follows:


Fish on tarp on floor in net dark. In nets irreg, being picked & shaken out, flying up in front of men. Net ochre and trans, in all shaken folds being piled onto wet carrier, corks and [sketch] on far side, cords dark.

Near fig: cap down, to eyebrows, bluish coat, twist of oilskin from side, hands dark, holding shaking; standing over wood obj, oilsk down to boots.

Far fig: Holding sorting cork edge, in battle dress, leather on R shoulder, less shaking

Gen: Water at shoulder level sea up thru head, hor just above head.

Generally bluish and sand, sea glitter on fish

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