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Oxfordshire Artweeks

An exhibition of dynamic new views of Oxfords most celebrated building, the Radcliffe Camera.

Emma Doughertyis a UK based artist and animator who works with a range of materials including clay, found objects, stamps and digital art. Emma’s prevailing fascination is with the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford, and portraying it in new and quirky ways.

“The Radcliffe Camera is utterly beguiling. I have always loved beautiful, old libraries for their innate romanticism, and this iconic building has to be one of the finest reading rooms in the world.

Its perfectly proportioned form satisfies the obsession I have had ever since I was little with collecting and with arranging, organising and displaying my collections. There is a real pleasure in sourcing the ideal object from my diverse collections for a pediment, arch, or the distinctively shaped domed roof. Like the ancient volumes contained on the bookshelves, many of the objects in my assemblages have been in my possession for years and retain a sentimental value, thus imparting my fascination with the Rad Cam.

Located at the very heart of the university, the Radcliffe Camera embodies the history and tradition of Oxford. This moves me to contemplate it in different ways and to inspire a renewed veneration of it and the space it occupies.”

Tim Steward lives and works in Oxford and trained in classical drawing at Lavender Hill Studios in London.

“My drawing of the Radcliffe Camera has become central to my progression in the practice of ‘seeing’ and ‘drawing’. Some subjects you just keep coming back to as an artist, and there is always a good reason for this. The pure form, the simple rhythm of spaces between doors and windows and the disappearing curves of the Radcliffe Camera are a joy to observe. This is a building of beautiful proportions, towering, magnificent, and wonderfully challenging to draw. There is, however, a mysterious draw about the Radcliffe Camera which goes beyond its visual splendour. Radcliffe Square has become for me a ‘trysting place’ – a place where I can sit, ponder and simply be, an environment of simple beauty and gentle rhythms which nourishes my spirit. Early morning it is simply majestic. By day, in the heat of the summer, the building throbs for attention as the crowds of tourists pay their cursory glances. By night it has a foreboding, even haunting presence, a presence so large that it threatens to float out of the square which contains it.”