'Ours': A Debut Exhibition by Capture Collective

Article by: Emilie AG

 Photo by Capture Collective of founders, Alex Stephenson (left) and Zoë Berkeley (right).

Photo by Capture Collective of founders, Alex Stephenson (left) and Zoë Berkeley (right).

Capture Collective’s first exhibition, ‘Ours’, launched recently and brought a selection of artwork from University Hall’s Beveridge Bequest to the public.

In collaboration with MUSA and the Fellowship, Capture Collective curated a number of artworks which were displayed in the Old Wing Dining Room of University Hall. The art is displayed in the hall corridors and replaces artwork which Capture Collective’s founders, Alex Stephenson and Zoë Berkeley, noticed when they were first-year students living in University Hall. The collection contains a range of art produced by various artists, most notably Elizabeth Blackadder and Alberto Morrocco.

 Photo by Emilie AG

Photo by Emilie AG

The name of the exhibition reflects the idea that art can bring communities together at a time when it is easy to become detached from others. St Andrews is a temporary home for most of us. Almost every year, we have to recreate our nests as we find halls or flats to live in, and we do not necessarily take the time to integrate into town life. ‘Ours’ was an opportunity to connect with something more permanent in the form of artwork which has been here for generations, both for students and for those whom St Andrews is more than just a temporary home.

 Photo by Capture Collective

Photo by Capture Collective

The exhibition, which encouraged moments of discovery and reflection, opened with a prosecco reception, soft lighting and live student pianists, attracting a number of people, the majority of whom weren’t students. Even though the exhibition space wasn’t very big, ‘Ours’ was striking thanks to its harmonious diversity achieved by a balance of modern and contemporary art, classical oil paintings and prints, etchings, gouaches and aquarelles.

 Photo by Capture Collective

Photo by Capture Collective

On one wall hung a solemn portrait from 1899 of Professor William Angus Knight by artist, Elizabeth Hean Alexander. Knight was one of the first professors to support the admission of women at the university, and his portrait faced a number of etchings by Robert Curie Richardson from the 1940s, in addition to a splendid oil painting by Helen Firth called ‘Crossing Place’.

 Portrait of Professor William Angus Knight

Portrait of Professor William Angus Knight

One of the latest works to join the collection is a bright painting by Tim Cockburn, who painted students dancing in the very room where the exhibition took place after being invited to a University Hall ceilidh in 2017.

The mysterious person behind the first acquisitions of artworks (at a rate of one piece every few years) is none other than former University Hall warden Lorena Walker, who personally selected which pieces should join the collection with money donated from the Beveridge memorial fund. Since then, it has been the duty of every University Hall warden to continue this tradition. The fund is named after Lady Janet Beveridge, OBE, who was one of the first female students to graduate from the university in 1897 and was a resident of the then all-female University Hall.

Capture Collective is launching their website shortly, so keep an eye out for their upcoming events at www.capturecollective.uk.

 Photo by Capture Collective

Photo by Capture Collective

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