View as list

Completed / In Progress

St John's College Otranto Passage Artwork

Otranto Passage Artwork by Kirsty Brooks
Otranto Passage Artwork by Kirsty Brooks
Otranto Passage Artwork by Kirsty Brooks (detail)
Otranto Passage Artwork by Kirsty Brooks (detail)

Modus Operandi advised and managed the commission for a glass screen to occupy the Otranto Passage - a hidden corridor within the 17th Century Canterbury Quadrangle, St John's College Oxford. This glass artwork was commissioned as part of the Library Extension and Study Centre project for St John College, Oxford by the architects Wright & Wright.


The artist Kirsty Brooks responded to the historical importance of the original library as the heart of learning within the College, by creating an abstract timeline in glass of the first 200 years’ history of St John’s – 1555 to 1755.


The artist states: ‘A mathematically accurate series of abstracted documents, maps and books are placed along a precise timeline with a year being represented by seven centimetres. Aspects of the surrounding College architecture are directly translated into the piece alongside references to the history of glassmaking during this period. The artwork also references key people who helped set up and establish the college but is also a linear study of patina and proportion, being manufactured to subtly reveal its contents over time. 


The artist utilised various techniques to create the sculptural wall panels including blown, cast, slumped, gilded and screen-printed glass wrapped in heat-treated abraded stainless steel, illuminated with internal LEDs.


For further information visit: St John's College Oxford New Library and Study Centre



Kirsty Brooks

Title of work

Otranto Passage Artwork


St John's College Oxford


Wright & Wright Architects


St John's College Oxford



Image credit

Philip Vile