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Westgate Oxford Homage to Dr Mirabilis

Homage to Doctor Mirabilis is a site-specific free-standing sculpture, commissioned for Westgate Oxford’s Leiden Square. Fabricated from stainless steel and neon, the sculpture creates an important focal point and meeting place on the edge of the largest covered square within Westgate.


Doctor Mirabilis was the nickname given to the 13th century philosopher and Franciscan friar Roger Bacon, who lived and studied for some years in the city, and is buried here. The statue of Bacon in Oxford’s Museum of Natural History shows him holding an astrolabe - a device for studying the movement of celestial bodies – and which the artist has re-imagined in this sculpture.

According to the artist, the astrolabe is ‘a symbol of the best traditions of intellectual inquiry: it is cosmopolitan, diverse, surprising and often very beautiful’.

David Batchelor, 2016



David Batchelor

Title of work

Homage to Doctor Mirabilis


Westgate Oxford Alliance







Image credit

David Batchelor. 'Homage to Dr Mirabilis', 2018. Image credit: Ben Westoby