Ewart Johns Painting on display in Forum Library

Students on the steps of University College of the South West Bradninch Place Exeter


The 27th June saw friends and family of artist Ewart Johns congregate at the University of Exeter to celebrate the unveiling of Students on the steps of University College of the South West Bradninch Place Exeter (1951) in the Forum.


The painting which was a kind donation from the artist is now on display in the corridor outside the Seminar Rooms in the Forum Library. The style of the work is Cubist and the modern geometrical design of the Forum compliments the piece greatly in its new situation.


The painting depicts students graduating on the steps of what is now the Exeter Phoenix, and was at the time part of the University College. The artist requested that the work be hung in a place in which students continued to learn, and so the Forum Library seemed to be the ideal place. Mrs Barbara Johns, Ewart’s wife was pleased to see the painting on view and remarked that it was a great spot for the piece to be appreciated at some distance.


The painting is open to the public to view and can be accessed through the main Forum Street every day.


Above: Mrs Barbara Johns with friends, family and members of the Library and Arts and Culture Services at the celebration



About the Artist

Ewart Johns (1923 – Feb.2013) has exhibited widely throughout Britain, has had four London shows, is represented in the Arts Council’s (Welsh) collection and has had a number of public mural commissions.  Amongst other locations, his paintings are in the University of Exeter’s Art Collection and a large number of his drawings are in the archives of St John’s College, Cambridge.  He was born in Barry, South Wales, and a major formative influence was the teaching of Ceri Richards at Cardiff College of Art.


He later combined a university career with work as a freelance artist.  His academic research – chiefly at Exeter – was in Urban Design, and led to a number of publications including a book on British Townscape for Edward Arnold. The combination of his interest in the practice of art with the study of design, led to his appointment as the first head of the Department of Visual Arts at Lancaster University.  After retiring from the University, Ewart Johns worked as a full time artist in Devon.  When he lost his sight he explored other ways of expressing visual concepts, including making sculptures in wood.



Exhibition in the Forum reaches new heights


The installation of a fascinating new exhibition by North Devon artist, Ed Crumpton has been taking place in the University’s Forum this week.


The exhibition is the result of Ed Crumpton’s artistic exploration of the Mariners Way, an ancient path crossing Dartmoor, which was historically used by Mariners walking between Dartmouth and Bideford.


Part of the exhibition features four tarred marlin rope hanging sculptures incorporating barrels and fishing buoys. To show them off to their best effect, they have been hung, high up inside the Forum windows, creating a stunning addition to the exhibition.


Visit the Mariners Way exhibition, featuring the barrel sculptures, paintings and prints from 27 April until 9 June, 8 am – 8pm in the University of Exeter Forum. Entry is free.

The artist Ed Crumpton hanging one of his hanging barrel sculptures, in preparation for the Mariners Way exhibition.

 New sculpture unveiled at the University

The Peacock, a sculpture designed by members of the University of Exeter’s Art Society and built in collaboration with local Devon artist, Ed Crumpton, was unveiled today.


The sculpture is formed from materials used in the construction of the Forum building and aims to promote recycling.


As well as an animal of beauty, the process of replenishment in the peacock’s feathers mirrors the construction of the Forum, converting old to new. In creating the sculpture, old hoardings have been used to create something new and beautiful.

The new sculpture which was unveiled today

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