Oxford City double decker buses display new portraits from My Ashmolean My Museum
In partnership with the Ashmolean, the Oxford Bus Company will exhibit images from the series on a variety of buses throughout 2009.
The fine-art photographer, Theo Chalmers has produced the eye-catching My Ashmolean My Museum series of portrait photographs to convey the spirit and excitement of the new Museum building, in the lead up to the grand opening in November. Working in collaboration with high-profile individuals and members of the local community, each portrait tells a unique story about the Ashmolean’s renowned collections of art and archaeology and the sitter’s relationship with the object.
Surrounded by bundles of asparagus, the Michelin Star chef, Raymond Blanc ,is photographed relishing in the favourite theme of the Dutch artist Adriaen Coorte (1683 - 1707), whose still life painting is displayed in the background. Coorte used asparagus in twelve known paintings, mostly in combination with other fruit. Only two others in the series show the bundle of asparagus isolated on a ledge like this: one in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, one in the Fitzwilliam, Cambridge.
Luca Abarno’s favourite subject is the Egyptians. Wearing his rugby kit, he is pictured standing in front of a granite ram. As one of a pair, the rams were originally placed before the entrances of the temple of Amon-Re, foremost god of the Kushites. The temple was built by King Taharqa, the greatest builder of the 25th Dynasty, in Kawa, Sudan. He completed it in 680 BC and dedicated it to Amon-Re, to whom the ram was sacred. Inside the temple stood Taharqa’s shrine, which is now in the Ashmolean. On the east face of the shrine, Taharqa’s succeeding King, Aspelta, stands before Amon-Re receiving symbolic life, stability and power from the God’s sceptre.
An outdoor exhibition of photographs from My Ashmolean My Museum will be displayed on the Ashmolean forecourt from 12 May to 4 October. An online gallery is available alongside an interactive area for the public to upload their favourite stories from the Ashmolean collections or to share experiences which they have enjoyed at the Museum.
“The Oxford Bus Company may not have been around for quite as long as the Ashmolean but we’ve been at the heart of our community for 127 years now. Our coaches and buses travel thousands of miles every week and are seen by thousands of people, so we can play our part in spreading the news about the Ashmolean throughout the region.” Philip Kirk, Managing Director Oxford Bus Company.
Theo Chalmers is a professional photographer whose portfolio includes an array of well-known faces captured in a bold and original style. He successfully combines a unique fine art collection with contemporary portraiture and fashion. Theo mixes sleek, clean advertising finishes with surreal and often challenging overtones. His work continues to explore difficult subject matter with a respectful and imaginative approach. Theo began his professional training at the Oxford School of photography over a decade ago, and has since maintained a close relationship with the City where he has a working studio.
The Oxford Bus Company carries over 17 million passengers a year in one of the country’s most modern and environmentally friendly fleet of buses. They have the lowest emissions of any operator in the UK. The company operates a fleet of luxury coaches to London, Heathrow and Gatwick, services to and from Oxford’s five Park and Ride car parks, and a comprehensive network of local bus routes.