Paddon Award 2015

On March 18 the Judging Event for the Paddon Award 2015, the University’s cross-arts competition, took place on campus at Roborough Studios. The celebratory award evening was attended by over 60 guests who came to hear the shortlisted entrants present their pieces.

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Guests viewing the shortlisted works at the Judging Event

The night showcased the spectacular standard of creativity amongst the staff, students and alumni from the University. From poems to paintings, from stories to film, each of the 20 individual pieces represented the artist’s unique interpretations of this year’s theme ‘Transformations’.


Visual creations included a painting showing four stages of a sunset, a digital image derived from Morse code messages from the First World War, a drawing of a pregnant life-model, a painting of the transforming Living Systems building on campus, a chameleon and a set of paintings showing the life cycle of amphibians.


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Staff member Tom Stevenson’s shortlisted piece ‘Four Scenes Towards Evening’

Creative writing entries included poems about coffee and dreams, a trilobite, a chrysalis and growing into an adult as well as a story about the changes in one child’s life.


Christy Ku scooped the first prize for ‘It All Passes’, a very touching and sensitive poem about the ephemeral nature of life. Second prize was awarded to Jordan Edgington, a graduate in Sports and Exercise Science, whose story ‘Ghosts’ about his first experiences as a graduate was identified with by many in the audience.   The joint third prizes went to Bethany Ashley, a Liberal Arts undergraduate, for her beautifully designed poem ‘Kindling’, in which the second stanza was the inverse of the first, and to Clifford Roddy , Film undergraduate, whose challenging short film ‘Cosmia’ addressed the theme of someone achieving a transformation by ‘putting on a face’.


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First prize winner Christy Ku performing her poem ‘It All Passes’

The judges for the evening were Honorary Graduate and International Curator, Thomas Trevor, folk singer and fiddle player Jackie Oates, and the Student Guild Vice President for Activities, Matt Bate.Their unenviable task of judging the shortlisted entries resulted in them choosing a first, second and joint third prizes. Thanks to the generosity of John Paddon, who attended the event, it was possible for the judges to offer the extra third prize.


The Paddon Award was established in memory of two alumni of the University of Exeter who contributed greatly to fostering collaboration between alumni and students for the benefit of the University.  Both were very interested in the arts so an annual prize was set up to encourage participation in some aspects of the arts.


If you didn’t get the chance to view the shortlisted works at the event, you can view them at the Paddon Award Showcase 6-19 May 2015 in the University Reception.




 Event Exeter and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra celebrate 50th anniversary

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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.


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.



 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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