Heritage Public Work

Alumni Abundantes, 1841 - 2010
Complete work displayed,  6 x 1000 mm x 750 mm
Printed on anodised aluminium

Supported by the Association of The Colleges of Ripon and York St John. 

“You have produced a wonderful reflection on the history of the two Colleges.”
John Maw, MBE, Honorary Fellow.

Former Vice Chancellor Professor Dianne Willcocks, CBE, said:
“Catherine’s remarkable installation piece is a real tribute to the creativity and professionalism of our York St John alumni. She has produced a wonderful artwork that honours generations of York St John students and inspires us with hope and confidence for the future. It truly reflects the university motto “ut vitam habeant et abundantius” - that they shall have life and have it in abundance.”
March 2010.

Here is the sequence of panels :

1841 -1890's

1890's - 1920's

1920's -1940's

1940's - 1960's

1960's - 1980's

1980's - 2010.

I was very grateful for the opportunity to produce this piece and gain access to the archives for the University which covers the rich history and heritage of the colleges of Ripon and York St John and the development toward Univesity status.  When Roddy Hunter, John Maw and I looked at a focus for this heritage piece in the archives the long narrow photographs of the past students (alumni) caught our attention.  It was decided to make them the centre of the work.  This is where the title of the work has been derived from, the abundance of past students or alumni.  It is also based on the motto of the University which  is: "Ut Vitam Habeant et Abundantius".  Translated as "That they may have life and in abundance".  I think the archives were proof of the fulfilment of this motto. 

I am also very grateful to all the past students who attended the Archive roadshow day in 2009 and shared there memories and experiences of their time at the colleges.  They highlighted their respect for the buildings which were part of the campuses, the strong connections to the church represented by both Ripon Cathedral and York Minster, the different routines and the change which occured in the 1960-70's.  This change was echoed in the archives as the photographs changed from black and white to colour.  With the testimony of past students in mind, the intention for this piece is to make some of the archives visible to all students so that they can share in the rich history of the University, the developments over time, the connection to the community and  foster pride for their university. Ultimately this piece is about people over time.

'Alumni Abundates' is displayed in a corridor in the Quad on the Lord Mayor's site of York St John University.  It is in a corridor that connects the front entrance to the centre of the Quad (Main old Building) and fondly referred to by past students as 'windy passage'.  I like to think I have added to this by bring in a visual form of wind of change which occured over the last 169 years.  The corridor is the start of the Heritage Trail which is a walk round the campus of York St John.

1 comment:

Susan Kruse said...

That is a really fantastic project. It is so interesting to see close up and I think it is a lovely thing to have in the Uni, giving a sense of continuity; especially to new students. I think it will make them feel welcomed onto campus as part of the ongoing life of the college.
I am also extremely impressed that you have done a real Public Art project!Just bounding from strength to strength aren't you? :)