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(Click on image to enlarge.)
click here to enlarge "1909 - 2009"
oil on panel 30 x 24 inches
Private collection


Behind the steps representing progress up into the future, we find a representation of a section of the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. It was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) with the intention of testing various predictions of high-energy physics. Cambridge particle physicists are involved in research into the existence of the hypothesized Higgs boson and new types of elementary particle. The Collider is funded by and built in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.

The colleges founded in this period are Murray Edwards (New Hall) (1954), Churchill (1960), Darwin (1964), Clare Hall and Lucy Cavendish (1965), Fitzwilliam (1966), Homerton (1976) and Robinson (1979).

In the foreground, we find ears of wheat representing Amartya Sen’s contributions to welfare economics for his work on famine, human development theory and the underlying mechanisms of poverty; the carnation is a reference to Stephen Poliakoff, British television dramatist; and the butterfly to Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita.

The Egyptian cat, and the image of the pharoah’s life-force embracing Osiers, patron of the Underworld and the dead, represent the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by Howard Carter, financed by Lord Carnarvon, in 1922.

The Nobel Prize medal was awarded in 1951, jointly to Sir John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton, in recognition of their pioneering research on the disintegration or 'splitting' of the atom, undertaken almost 20 years earlier in 1932 at the Cavendish Laboratory; the medal has been kindly given on loan to Churchill College.

The chess piece is a reference to Sir Trevor Robert Nunn, theatre and film director.

The photo, from 1948, represents the admission of women to full membership of the University.

To the right of the photo we find the final page of Churchill’s notes for his famous “Finest Hour” speech of 18 June 1940, set out in his distinctive blank verse “psalm” form. It was with these words, delivered in the House of Commons and then broadcast to the Nation, that Churchill rallied the British people.

The envelope behind the speech notes is a reference to Alistair Cooke’s Letter from America.

The diagram above is Frank Whittle’s design for the jet engine.

To the right we have the DNA double helix, representing Crick and Watson’s discovery in 1953.

Behind this is a photo of the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, and a reference to the invention of HTML code.

The piles of books include a minute selection of the innumerable important works by Cambridge scholars over the past 100 years. They were photographed after the end of term, mid-December 2008, and many other books on the list of texts for this composition had been taken out as holiday reading or were not available in multiple copies at the UL. Here we find the Cambridge Pocket Shakespeare: Hamlet; G. M. Trevelyan, Illustrated English Social History: 1; Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters; Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians; G. M. Trevelyan, English Social History; A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh, Now We are Six and The Christopher Robin Story Book; Patrick White, The Vivisector; Victoria Lucas (Sylvia Plath’s pseudonym), The Bell Jar; Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch; Peter Shaffer, Equus; Elizabeth Anscombe, Intention; Frederic Raphael, The Glittering Prizes; Geoffrey Hill, Mercian Hymns; Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time; Sebastian Faulks, A Fool’s Alphabet; Harry Hinsley, British Intelligence in the Second World War; Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China; and David Attenborough, Life on Earth.
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