Event Exeter and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra celebrate 50th anniversary

BSO in the Great Hall for blog

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in the Great Hall, University of Exeter

Professor Janice Kay, Provost of the University of Exeter and Dougie Scarfe, Chief Executive of the BSO signing the partnership agreement

On 22nd January 2015, the 50th anniversary of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s (BSO’s) concert season at The Great Hall at the University of Exeter was celebrated with two unique performances.


As well as an evening concert entitled ‘London Town’, featuring music by Elgar, Rachmaninov and Vaughan Williams, a brand new free schools concert sponsored by Investec Wealth & Investment took place during the day for over 1,300 school children from 20 schools across Devon. Event Exeter, the venue management team at the University marked the occasion by presenting each child with a bespoke musical themed notebook, to use back in the classroom as a reminder of the special event.

The University of Exeter and BSO cemented their relationship by signing a partnership agreement, confirming and celebrating their shared ongoing commitment to delivering world-class symphonic music to people living in the South West of England.


Geoff Pringle, Chief Operating Officer at the University of Exeter said “We are thrilled to be commemorating this remarkable anniversary by strengthening our relationship with the BSO. As one of the largest concert halls in the South West, The Great Hall is the perfect musical venue for people to come and enjoy wonderful performances from one of the best orchestras in the country.”

Dougie Scarfe, Chief Executive of the BSO said “The future of an Orchestra in the 21st Century is built on strong, positive and collaborative relationships, the signing of a partnership agreement with Exeter University, in the BSO’s 50th year of performing at the Great Hall, Exeter is testament to our shared commitment to delivering world-class symphonic music to people living in the South West of England. The BSO are focused on broadening the reach of the Orchestra with our venues, partners and funders, introducing the power of music to new and diverse audiences.’’

The excellent acoustics, moveable seating and fixed tiered balcony make The Great Hall a perfect venue for classical concerts and choir performances. With a maximum capacity of 1,400 seated and 1,800 standing, the venue also attracts a range of other live musical and theatrical events, as well as providing a great space for gala dinners, conferences and exhibitions.

Faces of Conflict – University partners with RAMM on new exhibition


Last Saturday saw the opening of Faces of Conflict, an exhibition at RAMM examining the impact of the First World War on facial reconstructive surgery.


This exhibition has been developed collaboratively between the University of Exeter and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), funded through an the EU INTERREG IV-funded project called 1914FACES2014, led by Prof Bernard Devauchelle (Institut Faire Faces) and Prof David Houston Jones (University of Exeter).

Paddy Hartley - Walter Ernest O’Neil Yeo, sailor uniform Copyright the artist back 1

Paddy Hartley – Walter Ernest O’Neil Yeo, sailor uniform.                         Copyright the artist

The exhibition looks at the unique historical situation of the facially injured soldiers of the First World War, the complex question of their reintegration into society and the long-term cultural legacy of that situation. It features photographs, film and artworks. The subject of the exhibition is challenging but important, as it exposes the realities of war and our reactions to it.

To enable you to explore the subject more deeply, RAMM has organised a series of events to accompany the exhibition including a debate on 12 February ‘Rethinking the Face’ in which World-leading facial surgeons, artists and campaigners discuss how they collaborate towards new understandings of the face and of disfigurement.

The project has also hosted an artist in residence at the University, Paddy Hartley, who has been focusing on retelling the story of Plymouth Sailor Walter Ernest O’Neil Yeo who sustained terrible facial burns in the Battle of Jutland, and subsequently underwent pioneering facial surgery at the hand of surgical pioneer Sir Harold Gillies.

The exhibition runs until 5 April 2015 and is open daily from Tuesday – Sunday,10 am – 5 pm except bank holidays.  Entry is free.

Student project to digitise University Turner engraving featured on Tate blog


FAC 01953 ExeterEarlier this year, first year students researched and made a digital map of a JMW Turner engraving of Exeter in the University’s fine art collection.


This project has been reported in the Tate blog: http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/blogs/art-maps-digital-futures-grand-challenge


The project, focusing on digital archives, was carried out as part of Grand Challenges, an initiative which gives interdisciplinary groups of first year students the opportunity to work together to research and address some of the World’s most pressing issues. A huge issue for the future is the creation and use of digital information.

The result of this project can be seen on the Arts and Culture website: http://www.artsandcultureexeter.co.uk/j-m-w-turner

 Birds Migrating make a beautiful sight..


Part of the migration installation by Naomi Hart

This week is the week to see the stunning installation of ‘migrating birds’ by Naomi Hart, at Hope Hall Heavitree. This exhibition entitled ‘All About Migration’ is the end result of a global, public-participatory art-science collaboration with the University of Exeter.


The artist Naomi Hart sent out 10,000 postcards in the shape of geese all over the world, asking people to write on them and post them back to her. Those that completed their ‘migration’ back to Naomi have been hung in a giant, indoor flock of birds.


The exhibition runs until 22 September and is open from 11 am – 6pm. Click here for more information


The address is: Hope Road, Heavitree, Exeter, EX2 5JN


Find out more here about the migration project here



The Mariners Way passage house sculpture on display at Heathercombe this September

The iconic Mariners Way rope sculpture by Edward Crumpton which we have enjoyed for over a year outside the Forum Building on the University of Exeter Campus, has been temporarily reincarnated as a passage house for the annual Edge Sculpture Trail at Heathercombe Gardens on Dartmoor.


The new passage house structure is sited along the footpath that gave its name and inspiration to the project; The Mariners Way.


Visit the sculpture trail at Heathercombe from 7 – 29 September 2013, 11 am – 5pm every day except Mondays.


Find out more about the Edge Sculpture Trail at Heathercombe Gardens here.

 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.

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