St John's College Oxford
The College is active in promoting the visual arts, through commissions, exhibitions and a programme of Artists-in-Residence.

Exhibitions of visual art by students and professional artists are mounted in the Kendrew Barn and the Dolphin Gallery throughout the year. Life-drawing classes are also regularly available for members of College. New artworks by contemporary artists have recently been commissioned for the new Library & Study Centre.


In Trinity Term, the College invites a professional artist to be our Artist-in-Residence. They are always keen to interact with the students, and at the end of term they display the work they have developed here.

Anna BarhamIn Trinity Term 2019 our Artist-in-Residence will be Anna Barham. Anna’s work explores translation, authorship and subjectivity as distributed forms of agency. Her practice is centred on a use of language as raw material – moving it between different bodies, forms and technologies to create complex feedback loops between a subject and a system. Taking the resulting material as a kind of interface, she uses video, text, print, installation and live events, to set up elliptical relationships between human and non-human others, words, sounds and images, that consider the audience as further agents in the production and transformation of ‘sense’.

Recent projects include Liquid Crystal Display, Site Gallery, Sheffield and MIMA, Middlesborough; Yet as Yet, Fig Futures, De Montfort University, Leicester; A sentence can be ours and ours, Playground Festival, Museum M, Leuven, Belgium; This is a voice, Wellcome Collection, London and MAAS, Sydney; Secret Surface, K-W, Berlin; and Nouveau Festival: Air de jeu, Centre Pompidou, Paris.

As part of her residency Anna is looking for participants for several live production reading groups she will run throughout the term, to generate multiple versions of texts using human vocalisation and speech2text software. The groups will be of around 10 people and will involve taking turns to read texts aloud. They'll last for about 60 minutes and no preparation is necessary.  For further details please go to

If you're interested in taking part please email

Previous years' Artists-in-Residence:

  • 2018 Azadeh Fatehrad   visual art
  • 2017 Edward Thomasson   visual and performance art see video below
  • 2016 Ross Sinclair   visual art, writing, video art see video below
  • 2015 Gareth Jones   visual art, video art see video below
  • 2014 Ciara Phillips   visual art see video below
  • 2013 Chloe Dewe Mathews   photography
  • 2012 Corin Sworn   visual art, film, performance art
  • 2011 Jordan Baseman   visual art, film
  • 2010 Zeena Parkins   music
  • 2009 Robert Beavors and Mary Lum   film, interdisciplinary (drawing, installation, still & moving images)
  • 2008 Matmos (Andrew Daniel & Martin Schmidt)   music and performance
  • 2007 Olivia Plender, DD Dorvillier and Victor Morales   visual art/writing, dance/choreography, video art
  • 2006 Grace Weir   film, installation
  • 2005 Wendy Ramshaw   jewellery
  • 2004 Joe Winkelman   printmaking
  • 2003 Alex Cox and Tod Davies   film
  • 2002 Sophy Rickett   photography
  • 2001 No appointment
  • 2000 Hughie O’Donoghue   painting

Artists in Residence

The College's art collection

Anne of Cleves by Bartolomaeus Bruyn the Elder 1493-1555The College’s collection of pictures includes many portraits of former Presidents, Fellows and distinguished alumni and benefactors, including several portraits of the Founder, of Archbishop Laud (President 1611–21), and of a notable 17th-century benefactor, Sir William Paddy. It also contains some pieces by old masters, including Jan Brueghel the elder, Bartolomeo Neroni, Abel Grimmer, Jan van Scorel, Bartholomaeus Bruyn the elder and Cornelis de Zeeuw, as well as some later acquisitions, which include John Piper and Hector Saunier. The paintings are dispersed around the College, including parts of it that are not open to public access, but can be accessed for academic study. Those interested should apply to the Keeper of College Pictures.

Anne of Cleves, by Bartolomaeus Bruyn the elder (1493-1555), St John's College, University of Oxford

Images of a considerable part of our picture collection are available at Art UK, the online home of every public art collection in the UK. They have also been published in Georgina Dennis, Camilla Stewart and Andy Johnson, Oil Paintings in Public Ownership in Oxford University, vol. 2 (London 2015). The older portraits in the collection were extensively catalogued by Rachael Lane Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the Possession of the University, Colleges, City and County of Oxford, vol. 3 (Oxford 1926).