Art has always been at the centre of Lancaster University since its creation.


By commissioning sculpture and other ‘embellishments,' which formed the foundation of the university art collection as it stands today, the university recognised the need for art in a modern university. Not only to beautify, but also to inspire. Drawing from Northern Artists, known post-war masters, and unique visionaries - Lancaster University put into motion a bold ethos of how art resided in its newly formed, royal chartered, public realm.


Today Lancaster Arts looks after the university collections; here is a selection of items currently on display in the Manton Room.


Written by Natalie Bradbury.

8 artworks

.

Charles F. Carter (1919–2002)
© the copyright holder. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Charles F. Carter (1919–2002)

This bust commemorates Charles Carter, the first Vice-Chancellor of the University. In Marion McClintock’s account of the first ten years of the university, Carter emerges as a dominant figure: students named a stretch of water beside the main drive Lake Carter in his honour (a name which has now been formally adopted).

Initially cast in fibreglass, and sited in a nook, for many years the bust was part of the backdrop to student life: in 1980, University Librarian Michael Argles proposed creating a protective screen for use on disco nights.

Little is known about the artist, although he appears to have been a tutor at Preston Polytechnic School of Art & Design and later moved to South Africa.

Charles F. Carter (1919–2002)
Glynne Potter
Bronze
H 58 x W 60 cm
Peter Scott Gallery

1968

LANPS_2012_194_high_res_jpg
© courtesy of the artist's estate/Pangolin Gallery London. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Ceremonial Tankards for Lancaster University

These pewter cups are part of a set of 40 purpose-designed silver tankards, each unique, inculcating a sense of prestige and tradition in the university. Commissioned in 1969 and presented to the university in 1970, they were sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.

Clarke studied at Lancaster and Morecambe School of Arts and Crafts, as well as Manchester and Preston Schools of Art and the Royal College of Art. Associated with the ‘geometry of fear’ group of artists identified by the critic Herbert Read at the 1952 Venice Biennale, his public commissions include the monumental Langley Cross at a church in Middleton, near Manchester, as well as commissions for Coventry Cathedral and various other church and educational settings.


Ceremonial Tankards for Lancaster University (1969), Geoffrey Clarke, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths

1965

Dual Form
© Bowness. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Dual Form

As well as her renown as a sculptor, Hepworth was a skilled print-maker, with the lithograph ‘Sun and Moon’ represented in the university art collection.

Hepworth’s sculpture ‘Dual Form’, which can currently be seen in the University’s Alexandra Square, is an edition of seven – other casts can be seen in her longstanding home town of St Ives in Cornwall and in the United States and the Netherlands, as well as at the University of Leeds where an edition is currently on loan from Leeds Art Gallery.

Despite the cachet of having a Hepworth on campus, the Embellishments Committee reported that it had received “a handful of unsolicited, anonymous and colourful suggestions as to what might be done with 'Dual Form'."

Dual Form 1965
Barbara Hepworth (1903–1975)
Bronze
H 184 x W 141 x D 68 cm
Peter Scott Gallery

1969

LANPS_PD177_high_res_jpg
© Barbara Hepworth Bowness. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Sun & Moon

Lithograph by Hepworth, part of the University's Art Collection. Three orbs: one red, one white and one a hollow ring on a rough textured surface. Edition 34 out of 60.


Sun & Moon (1969), Barbara Hepworth, Lithograph

Works by Tom Mellor

Blackburn-born and Lancashire-based architect, artist and designer Tom Mellor worked on various buildings at Lancaster University, including the library, physics, chemistry, environmental science and engineering buildings.

In the early 1970s, a set of three watercolours by Mellor were purchased for display in the engineering building, library and building development office. They bring together a sense of modernity and an interest in the technological developments of the 20th-century with a rooting in architectural tradition and antiquity.

Mellor was subject of a retrospective exhibition at Peter Scott Gallery in 1996.

1967

LANPS_OW191_high_res_jpg
© Courtesy of Hannah Mellor. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

The Technocrat

‘The Technocrat’ appears in what seems to be a mobile office or viewing platform. Technocracy is a proposed system of governance in which decision-makers are selected on the basis of their expertise. The work has a slightly dystopic feel with the technocrat in an elevated position to oversee proceedings. A striking message for a delicately painted watercolour.


The Technocrat (1967), Tom Mellor, Watercolour on Paper

1967

LANPS_OW190_high_res_jpg
© Courtesy of Hannah Mellor . Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

The Archaeologist

In this piece we see a surrealist view of futuristic archaeology. An insect- like machine stands posed over classical ruins emitting a light show of what the building looked like in its previous life. The soft colours and sharp lines lend an almost dream like quality to the painting. Mellor’s architectural influence can be seen in the focused accuracy of the columns and tiles.


The Archaeologist (no date given), Tom Mellor, Watercolour on Paper

1965

LANPS_OW189_high_res_jpg
© Courtesy of Hannah Mellor . Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Architectural Arrangement

A couple walking on a path towards a roundabout in a very unusual architectural arrangement - possibly a fantasy. The size of these arrangement has been exaggerated to show how big they are in comparison to the size of the couple.


Architectural Arrangement (1967), Tom Mellor, Watercolour on Paper

1970

Galgate Mill
© the artist's estate. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Galgate Mill

The university commissioned Peter Brook to paint Lancaster’s historic Galgate Mill, the first mechanical silk spinning mill in the country.

Originally hanging in the Senate Chamber, it had to be removed during one of several student occupations of Senate House that took place from the late 1960s onwards.

The previous year, the university had purchased another work by Peter Brook, depicting a street scene in Kendal.

Often depicting northern streets and scenes of everyday life, Brook also worked as a secondary school teacher. His work can also be seen in the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery at Leeds University as well as public collections in Yorkshire.

Galgate Mill
Peter Brook (1927–2009)
Oil on canvas
H 102 x W 152 cm
Peter Scott Gallery

1973

LANPS_2012_185_high_res_jpg
© the copyright holder. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Abstract Form (Maquette)

John Hoskin was artist in residence from 1968–1971, working from a studio at the back of the physics building. The resulting work in aluminium, ‘Abstract Form’, was installed on the outside of the physics building in 1973. Frame-like in form and resembling a rocket in outline, it appears to climb up the building.

A maquette and plans for ‘Abstract Form’ were shown in the library in 1970 to elicit feedback, and in a corridor in the physics building, prompting considerable debate over the site and the design.

Of responses received, 8 were pro, 2 were mixed and 13 were anti. Criticisms included that it was “boring – frail and insubstantial”.


Maquette for 'Abstract Form' (1973), John Hoskin, Welded Metal

1973

Abstract Form
© the copyright holder. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Abstract Form (Sculpture)

At a time when the university was still in the process of being built, the sculpture also invited comparisons with scrap iron and scaffolding.

The architects who worked on the campus argued against the sculpture: Shepheard and Epstein felt it was “sad and mechanical” and advised planting creepers instead to soften the site, a view that was supported by Tom Mellor. In spite of this initial ambivalence from the university community, students soon took to it, trying to climb the sculpture. Proving vulnerable to damage from the Lancashire climate and its exposed setting, the sculpture has recently been restored and its backdrop has changed over time, with the growth of plants up the adjacent wall.

Abstract Form 1973
John Hoskin (1921–1990)
Steel & aluminium
H 1200 x W 250 x D 250 cm
Peter Scott Gallery

1973

Metamorphosis of Daphne
© the copyright holder. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Metamorphosis of Daphne

Annelise Henecka is one of relatively few women artists whose work is visible on campus.

Henecka was Granada Fellow in residence at the university from 1971, and later a teaching fellow. The minutes of the university Embellishments Committee show the evolution of her ideas. Proposals for different sites and types of sculpture were considered, including bas relief and free-standing bronze. Henecka also experimented with different coloured concrete and considered embedding stained glass in the sculpture as well as lighting.

The sculpture draws on a classical myth in which a nymph, Daphne, rejects Apollo and changes into a laurel tree. A three-foot high hedge was planted behind the sculpture; today ‘Daphne’ is encircled by an arch of laurel

Metamorphosis of Daphne 1973
Anneliese Henecka (1927–2015)
Concrete
H 250 x W 330 x D 80 cm
Peter Scott Gallery

1993

Daphne_and_Shadows_jpg
© the copyright holder. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Daphne & Her Shadow

This sketch, made in 1993 from a reflecting Henecka on her time at Lancaster, demonstrates how the Laurel trees planted are as much a part of her sculpture, as the concrete itself.


Daphne & Her Shadow (1993), Annelise Henecka, Ink on Paper

1970

Untitled
© the artist's estate. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Untitled

As artist in residence at the university via the Granada Fellowship in 1970, Jeff Hoare was asked by University Librarian Michael Argles to create a large mural on panels for the wall facing the entrance doors of the Environmental Sciences/Biological Sciences building, on the theme of environment and life.

During his time at the university, Hoare painted landscapes and scenes around the university in a bold, bright, abstracted style. Some were purchased by members of staff at an exhibition held at the end of Hoare’s residency.

As well as undertaking mural commissions, Hoare was also a secondary school teacher and his work was purchased for various educational art collections.

Untitled
Jeff Hoare (1923–2019)
Oil on canvas
H 114.5 x W 101.5 cm
Peter Scott Gallery

.

Wood Pile No. 9
© the copyright holder. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Wood Pile No. 9

This construction was purchased from the artist in 1970 and hung in Gillow House and the library.

Snape studied at Rochdale College of Art and St. Martin's College, Lancaster (now part of the University of Cumbria).

Wood Pile No. 9
Alan Snape
Wood & metal
H 41.5 x W 119 x D 9.5 cm
Peter Scott Gallery

1971

LANPS_PD122_high_res_jpg
© the copyright holder. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

George Jackson

This print by the British artist David Vaughan references the 1971 Bob Dylan song about the Black Panther leader George Jackson, who was shot trying to escape from prison.

The new post-war universities often developed reputations for student radicalism and protest. By the end of the 1960s Lancaster University, too, was affected by student politics and uprisings, from sit-ins and occupations to rent strikes. Students were concerned about a range of issues from investments in South Africa and Indo-China to Irish solidarity to the rights and working conditions of cleaning staff.

The print was one of several artworks borrowed by the university from North West Arts, a regional funding body based in Manchester.


George Jackson (1972), David Vaughan, print

1975

LANPS_PD92_high_res_jpg
© Jan Kaliciak. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Credit Can Be Arranged

This modernist print depicting a candy machine hung in the Students’ Union, reflecting an emphasis on the social side of student life: the small, close-knit social scene offered by a new university such as Lancaster was a big attraction to some students.


Credit Can be Arranged (1975), Jan Kaliciak, print

2005

PSGCT_2015_1_high_res_top_jpg
© the artist. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Euphrates

Artist and designer Halima Cassell was born in Pakistan and brought up in Blackburn.

Her work, which references Islamic architectural geometry and African pattern, encompasses ceramics as well as public art commissions, including recent carved designs for benches and a frieze in a new public square at her alma mater, the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, and a new artwork for Wakefield Westgate railway station.


Euphrates (2005, Halima Cassell, Unglazed Stoneware

2018

PSGCT_2019_2_jpg
© the artist. Image credit: Peter Scott Gallery

Proposals for Lancaster Arts

The artist Peter Liversidge is known for creating proposals for galleries and collections around the world, beginning as notes typewritten on Olivetti Lettera 35. While some remain unrealised, others are developed into performances and interventions. In 2018, Liversidge created a set of ten proposals for Lancaster Arts, relating to the gallery, university campus and local area, from planting an orchard to everyone learning the same melody to installing one hundred flagpoles. The proposals were exhibited alongside work from the collection in 2019. In 2023, some of the proposals were brought to life: hidden fragments of texts by the artist could be encountered in books in the university library, and the Peter Scott Gallery was transformed int


Proposals for Lancaster Arts (2018), Peter Liversidge, Mixed Media

1979

Dawn
© the artist's estate. Image credit: Lancaster University Library

Dawn

This sculpture, which can be found on the second floor of the library, was commissioned by Mr and Mrs Fabian in memory of their daughter; the Fabians dropped into the university see it from time to time en route from Scotland. Its smooth surface and contours invite tactile exploration: in 1981 it was lent to the Harris Museum & Art Gallery in Preston for an exhibition for the blind and partially sighted.

Westwood, a Royal College of Art-trained artist, was a tutor at Carlisle College of Art. Although he often worked on a small scale, he also created work for Carlisle Civic Centre as well as Strathclyde University and the Prudential Insurance Company.

Dawn 1979
Dennis Westwood (1928–2001)
Bronze
H 110 x W 43 cm
Lancaster University Library