Brand new artwork depicting the history of Jesus College has appeared in the city centre, adorning the hoardings surrounding the site of the College’s £36 million Northgate Development.

The College commissioned a designer to create colourful, informative and site-specific graphics which will be displayed throughout the duration of the construction work.

The new hoarding design tells the story of the college - from the 16th Century when it was founded by Queen Elizabeth I to the present day.  It celebrates famous alumni, including Prime Minister, Harold Wilson and T.E. Lawrence - better known as Lawrence of Arabia - and notes historic and culturally significant milestones, such as the admission of women undergraduates at the previously all-male college in 1974.

Designer Gareth Wild, of Apropos - working in partnership with Jesus College - is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and formerly senior designer for Neville Brody. He has worked closely with Jesus College Fellows, the Principal Sir Nigel Shadbolt, college librarian Owen McKnight and design researcher Bev Saunders to develop a narrative and source photographs and paintings to trace the history of the College, which was founded in 1571.

The artworks also celebrate the College’s links with Wales and information about the new building, which will be completed in 2021.  Panels known as ‘The Exchange’ will be regularly updated over the coming months to share information about what’s going on at in College, from the latest research to events and projects with local schools and the public. 

College Principal, Sir Nigel Shadbolt says:

“We have put a lot of thought into the hoardings, which we wanted to be visually appealing and to add interest to the high street.  The redevelopment project will be continuing until 2021, meaning the hoardings will be in place for some considerable time. Given the Northgate site’s position in the centre of Oxford our intention was to make the surroundings more engaging while work is underway.   We hope that people will find the hoardings interesting and intriguing, and we will be keen to hear people’s opinions.”