The Observatory: perspectives on landscape, society and spirit

The Observatory: perspectives on landscape, society and spirit was an exhibition of work by 40 South West artists inspired by the University of Exeter's key research themes.

The open exhibition was organised by the Arts and Culture Department and began in January with a call-out to artists working in the South West. Artists were asked to submit a piece of work that related to one of the  key research themes here at the University of Exeter. Forty works were chosen out of over one hundred entries by a panel of four judges:

  • Volkhardt Mueller - Artist
  • Val Wilson - Arts and Events Manager, Exeter City Council
  • Tristan Gatward - Vice President: Activities, University of Exeter Guild of Students
  • Professor Melissa Percival - Associate Professor: French, Art History and Visual Culture

The resulting exhibition was displayed from the 11th-18th June 2017 in The Forum on the University of Exeter's Streatham Campus. During the exhibition week, a series of associated public events were held promoting not only research, but also the University of Exeter's Fine Art Collection and beautiful campus environment.  These included: Creative Conversations, which reviewed the benefits of collaborations between researchers and artists providing a great networking opportunity,  Think…Art, a family day of creativity and learning which hosted a variety of arts and activities linked to the University of Exeter's  research themes, a guided Sculpture Trail, Jubilee Water Walk and Horticultural Walk, and a tour of The BIll Douglas Cinema Museum.


Two awards were presented to artists for their pieces submitted to the exhibition:

The Judges' award  was given to Julia Hutton's BURNING LIGHT, The Passing Day (Morning), with William Walton-Freeman's Vaquerito and Jane Colquhoun's All of Us Somewhere being highly commended.

The Visitors' Favourite award was voted for by visitors to The Observatory exhibition and was awarded to  Amy McCarthy's A World Without.

See these artworks and the other selected pieces by clicking on the artist's name in the grid below.  The colours indicate the different research themes covered by the exhibition. Artists with the same colour worked with similar key research themes. More information about the research each piece considers can be found through links on the individual artist's gallery page.

You can also browse the artworks according to their associated research themes via these links:

•     Climate Change and Sustainable Futures
•     Environment and Sustainability
•     Extrasolar Planets
•     Food Security
•     Functional Materials
•     Global Uncertainties
•     Identities and Beliefs
•     Science, Technology and Culture
•     Societal and Lifestyle Shifts
•     Systems Biology
•     Translational Medicine

The focus of the University of Exeter's research continually evolves and some of these themes will soon change to meet the challenges of the future and become part of the newly funded Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health, combining expertise from humanities and social sciences, together with natural, medical and environmental sciences.

Lynn Bailey

Tim Bailey

Diana Boyer

Fiona Bradford

Clare Bryden

Sarah Duncan

Sara Dudman

Amanda Cox

Jane Colquhoun

Sarah Chapman

Elisabeth Dunne

Chris Dunseath

John Gammans

Alan Gregory

Judy Harington

Carrie Mason


Judges' Award

Julia Hutton

Elizabeth Hood

Jane Hodgson

Jessica Mason

Julian Masson

Visitors' Award

Amy McCarthy

Jenny Mellings

Marjory Mulrooney

Sara Henson Pelling

Simon Ripley

Richard Rochester

Tania Skeaping

Aarron Stroud

Stella Tripp

Priscilla Trenchard

Peter Treglown

Georgina Towler

Diana Tingley

William Walton-Freeman

Deborah Westmancoat

Barbara White

Jon Wyatt

Magdalena Zoledz