Situated in University Hall’s Old Wing Dining room, Capture Collective’s debut exhibition, Ours, brought together selected artworks from the hall’s collection. Since the hall opened to students in 1896, a wide-ranging collection has been built up from the gifts of friends and alumni, as well as from the Beverage Bequest, a memorial fund left to the hall in 1962 by one of its earliest women graduates. Under the direction of former warden, Lorna Walker, the fund was, and still is, used for the purchase of artworks every few years.
Ours exhibited some of the most important pieces in the Hall’s collection, including works by Royal Academicians and Royal Scottish Academicians. It demonstrated a particular focus on Scottish Modern and Contemporary art, including works by Elizabeth Blackadder, Sir Robin Phillipson and Alberto Morocco. The exhibition should also be noted for its extensive range of media, from gouache, watercolour and oil painting to etchings, drawings and prints. Among the works was a portrait of Professor William Angus Knight from 1899, who paved the way for women to earn a degree from St Andrews, celebrating the history of the hall as the first residence for women students in Scotland.
It was two students living in University Hall in their first year, Alex Stephenson and Zoë Berkeley, from whom the idea for the exhibition was born. As Art History undergraduates, both were attentive to the artworks on display throughout their hall, and quickly realised the unique and impressive nature of its collection. Keen to celebrate this, Capture Collective was founded as an organisation to host an exhibition of University Hall’s artwork, with the intention that this would become a tradition in the future with further exhibitions.
Ours took its title from a recognition of the public nature of the collection, since it was intended for the enjoyment of staff and students at the University as well as for the wider community. Open over three days, Capture Collective’s aim for Ours, was to bring ‘town and gown’ together through art, fostering a stronger sense of community. The exhibition raised money for ‘Teapot Trust’, a Scottish charity providing professional art therapy in a medical setting for children with chronic illnesses, furthering the Collective’s aim of using art to better the community.
Going forward Capture Collective hope to encourage a dialogue between art already in St Andrews and creative projects by students. Information about their upcoming events can be found on their newly launched website: .
Photos by Zoë Berkeley