Current: 2014 - 2018 Clipsham Frieze, St John’s College

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Susanna Heron was appointed in 2014 by St John’s College Oxford to prepare a work of art for the new Study Centre at St John’s College Library with Wright & Wright Architects. The 17th century St John’s College library is housed within one of the greatest architectural quadrangles in Oxford, Canterbury Quadrangle.

The artwork is located on both external and internal faces of the stone wall that forms the west side of the new Study Centre. The external wall, which has an overall measurement of 17.4m long and 6m high, faces the President’s Garden. It comprises three overlapping sections, which are stepped and separated by windows in the reveals. The relief is reversed on the corresponding face of the interior walls to the library. The relief measures the same 17.4m length but with a reduced height of 3.7m. In total there are 772 stones with an average dimension of 600 x 450mm and depths ranging between 100mm and 160mm.

The stone is laid to an exact 3mm joint so that the levels of relief follow through. Each level has been cut in steps from 60mm to just 1mm, the joints being pointed to match the levels. For the exterior relief, Clipsham Frieze West, Heron took into consideration the way that rain might be directed over the relief with the idea that weathering would gradually adapt the artist’s drawing over a long period of time. The carved stone relief on the interior, Clipsham Frieze East, is more shallow and a mirror image to the exterior.

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  • St John's College Oxford site visit 28 Sept 2017
  • St John's College Oxford site visit 3 Oct 2017