Oxford as sensory experience

25 Nov 2019
Richard Lofthouse

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Due to be published early in 2020, Experiencing Oxford is a labour of love by Oxford resident Ian Davis. His book celebrates the way Oxford can be experienced and perceived through ‘body, mind and spirit’, using our senses, memories, emotions and spirits. The text is lovely but the artwork speaks for itself and showcases Ian's talent as a watercolourist. The former lecturer and Wheatley resident says, 'the illustrations grew out of many years teaching and in turn being taught by my students.'

'Recognising that some prefer to look rather than read, an important feature of the book is its illustrations, using over 120 of my drawings and watercolours as well as photographs I have taken of Oxford’s buildings and landscapes.The book also includes paintings by other generous artists and photographers who have contributed their work.'

The 320 page book comprises eleven chapters, and involves copiously illustrated examples of how we experience buildings, squares, streets, sculptures, stained glass and Oxford’s ‘unmanicured’ open spaces.

To encourage an active exploration, a number of ‘sensory walks and ‘climbs’ are also included, and as Ian emphasises, 'The book is written for any reader - whether visitor, student, professional or resident, who has appreciated and experienced the riches of Oxford and would like to expand that encounter.'

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Magdalen Bridge

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Tom Tower, St Aldate's

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Turl Street

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Addison's Walk

The author can be contacted here:  ian.robert.davis@gmail.com. A reduced price of £20 instead of £25 applies to Oxford alumni and QUAD readers. 

All images credit: Ian Davis

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