Trying to Grasp the Sun at the Loughborough Town Hall

trying to grasp the sun

A new solo exhibition by award-winning artist Mark Sheeky begins in the Loughborough Town Hall’s Sock Gallery this July.

Trying To Grasp The Sun is a journey, an examination and exploration of mastery in art, and the psychology of creativity. Arturo the white mouse is your guide in this exhibition of oil paintings and hand-crafted cabinets and surrounds that pull you inexorably from sleep to wakefulness, confusion to clarity, from darkness into light.

The exhibition runs from 2nd July to 1st August. The Sock Gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm and while the Town Hall is open for shows and events. Admittance is free. For further details visit the Sock Gallery webpage here:

Magna Carta (An Embroidery) at the British Library

blA unique new work of art by Turner Prize nominated artist Cornelia Parker is unveiled in the British Library today to accompany their Magna Carta: Law, Liberty & Legacy exhibition.

Fabricated by many hands, from prisoners and lawyers to artists and barons, Magna Carta (An Embroidery) replicates in stitch the entire Wikipedia article on the Great Charter as it appeared on the document’s 799th anniversary in 2014. The Wikipedia article regularly attracts more than 150,000 page views each month and is constantly being amended by users of the website as the debate about Magna Carta and its legacy ebbs and flows.

One of Britain’s most celebrated artists, Cornelia Parker works in a variety of media and is well known for her sculpture and installation in which she transforms ordinary objects into compelling works of art. Magna Carta (An Embroidery) has been commissioned by the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford in partnership with the British Library and in association with the Embroiderers’ Guild, Fine Cell Work, Hand & Lock and the Royal School of Needlework.

The work is displayed in the British Library entrance hall and is free to visit until 24th July. For further details visit the British Library website.

Information for Finalists Regarding University IT Accounts

Pilkington library after refurbishmentIT Services have offered the following advice for students who have finished or are about to finish their course at Loughborough.

If you are due to complete your studies soon, your student record will be updated to reflect that you are leaving. As a result of this, your student account will expire, and your access to systems such as Learn, Athens and your Documents area (U drive) will lapse.

IT Services cannot specify the exact date that this will happen, as it varies from course to course.

Prior to your account expiring, it is your responsibility to carry out the following actions in the areas listed below:

  • Your Student Email Account
  • Learn
  • Printing Credits
  • Documents Area (U Drive)

Please visit IT Services’ help page –  – for information on how to do this. IT Services recommend that you add the webpage to your web browsers bookmarks/favourites and carry out these actions before your account expires.

If you are returning to study on a different programme, then your account will expire when you complete your current programme BUT:

  • If you return to do Postgrad Taught Study, your account will be reactivated when you return.
  • If you return to do Postgrad Research Study, you will be issued with a new account when you return.

If you are returning to study in the next academic year, in your current programme, this information does not apply to you and you do not need to take any action.

The John Ruskin Prize 2015


Budding artists may be interested in participating in this year’s John Ruskin Prize, a showcase run by the Campaign for Drawing for emerging talent and established artists from all reaches of the UK with a top prize of £5,000.

This year artists are being asked to respond to respond to the theme: Recording Britain Now: Society, to re-assess their practice and focus on the prevalent social issues of 2015/16 and to engage with a society in rapid transition.

The winners, alongside 15 shortlisted artists will be included in a high profile exhibition at The New Art Gallery, Walsall in early 2016 closely followed by a London showing at The Electrician’s Shop Gallery set within the unique surrounds of Trinity Buoy Wharf, London. The exhibitions will be accompanied by a series of talks and events linking with the V&A’s fascinating ‘Recording Britain’ collection and all shortlisted artists will be invited to feature on a free online catalogue featuring both collections exploring visions of Britain through to the present day as seen through the eyes of established and emerging UK artists.

In 2012 The Guild of St. George, the charity founded by Ruskin in 1871, renewed its links with the Campaign for Drawing to inaugurate The John Ruskin Prize open to all artists over 18 working in the UK. It aims to uphold Ruskin’s belief that drawing helps us see the world more clearly and be more aware of its fragility. The Prize allows the Campaign to promote and give exposure to the work of emerging artists using a wide range of media and techniques.

For further details about how to enter, visit the Campaign’s website below:

Repair Work in the Library This Week

Coming into focus mark hutchings

Work is being performed in the Library this week on replacing carpet tiles on Levels 1 & 2 that were damaged in the flood earlier in the year. The areas in question are both near staircase C and the lift. Some of the tiles being replaced are in the aisles between the shelving near staircase C on both floors.

If users need books from the shelving in those areas, they should contact a member of staff on the Information and Enquiry desk on Level 3, who will arrange for the items to be collected for them. At times the exit from the lift on Levels 1 and 2 may also be unavailable.

We hope to have this work completed by the end of the week.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Library Opening Hours During the Vacation


From Monday 22nd June for the rest of the summer the Library will be switching to its vacation opening times schedule. These are:

  • Monday 9am-5.30pm
  • Tuesday 9am-5.30pm
  • Wednesday 9am-8pm
  • Thursday 9am-5.30pm
  • Friday 9am-5.30pm
  • Saturday CLOSED
  • Sunday CLOSED

Please note above that our only evening opening is on Wednesdays, and that we are closed at weekends for the duration of the vacation. Please also be aware that last entry to the Library is ten minutes before closing time, in order to allow staff to clear the building.

The IT Services PC Clinic in the Library is open throughout the summer, but only during the hours 11am-3pm. Outside these times the IT Services Help Desk can be contacted 8.30am-5pm (week days only).

The Library Shop will be closed for the duration of the vacation, but the Library Café will remain open, 9.30am-3pm daily.

Waterloo: "The nearest run thing you ever saw in your life…"


Today marks the 200th anniversary of one of the most famous battles in history, the Battle of Waterloo, which was fought between the allied forces commanded by the Duke of Wellington and Imperial French forces commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte on June 18th 1815.

The battle closed the final chapter of a particularly bloody period of European history at the beginning of the 19th century during which Napoleon sought to secure dominance over Europe and world affairs through the might of the French Empire. After a sequence of disastrous reverses beginning with a calamitous Russian campaign in 1812, Napoleon had eventually been deposed and exiled by the beginning of 1815. Yet in March he returned to France to reclaim his throne, embarking on a brief but tumultuous period of conflict across Europe known as ‘The Hundred Days’.

After a series of smaller battles, an allied army, comprising of 68,000 British, Dutch and Prussian/German troops under the command of the legendary British strategist the Duke of Wellington, gave battle to a French force of 73,000 in the fields just outside the small Belgian town of Waterloo.

The battle took all day and the outcome see-sawed dramatically between the combatants, evenly matched with some seasoned by nearly twenty years of fighting. It has generally been accepted by military historians that the arrival, late in the day, of a large force of Prussian troops under the command of General Blucher ultimately turned the tide in the allies favour, though the battle’s outcome has remained disputed. But as a result, Napoleon fled the field and abdicated, returning for good to exile until his controversial death in 1821.

As the Duke of Wellington himself remarked after the battle: “it was the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life”, and one of the decisive turning points of world history, heralding the end of the Revolutionary period of European history and the beginning of an era of industrial and technological innovation, with an uneasy peace in Western Europe that would last until the final quarter of the 19th century, when France, led by another Napoleon, would cross swords with Prussian Germany once more.

You can get a flavour of the events of the day by browsing the Times Digital Archives, which have digital reproductions of the days news dating back to 1785. The British Humanities Index (BHI) is also an invaluable resource for those interested in finding out more about this fascinating period of history.

We also have quite a variety of books about the Napoleonic Wars and Revolutionary Europe downstairs among our history section on Level 2. Why not have a browse?

Pictured above is Lady Butler’s depiction of the British Scots Greys famous charge during the battle, reproduced from Flickr courtesy of Dennis Jarvis under Creative Commons License.

End of Term, End of 24-7…


As the sun sets on another term, and indeed another academic year, we bid a fond farewell to everyone who will be going home for the summer this week, and best of luck to all those who won’t be returning in October – we hope you enjoyed being here, as much as we enjoyed having you!

With the end of term comes the end of our 24-7 opening period. From tonight we will be closing our doors at midnight, and on Thursday and Friday we will be returning to our usual term-time opening hours of 8.30am to midnight. We are open this weekend, albeit for the last time this summer, but with reduced hours – Saturday 9am – 5.30pm, and Sunday 10am – 9pm. Thereafter from Monday we will be switching to our vacation opening hours timetable.

History & Heritage Community Day


Loughborough University and Charnwood Museum are inviting members of the local community to attend their History and Heritage Community Day which is taking place in Burleigh Court later this month (Sunday 21st June).

The ‘Future of the Past’ event will include fascinating short talks from local authors and historians, a guided tour of the historical Loughborough University campus and also panel discussions.

Stands and displays from local history and heritage groups including Charnwood Roots, Kegworth Museum, Leicestershire Industrial History society and many more will also be present.

Confirmed speakers include former County Archaeologist Peter Liddle, authors Dave Postle and Marianne Whiting, East Midlands History Archive manager Colin Hyde and Professor Alison Yarrington. Accredited Leicestershire Tour Guide Ernie Miller will also be leading the tours across the University Campus.

The event is free to attend and everyone is welcome, refreshment and bar meals will be on sale throughout the day. A full programme of events can be found on the Loughborough History & Heritage Network site here:

Picnic in the Park with Charnwood Arts


Charnwood Arts is hosting its annual Picnic in the Park event in Loughborough’s Queens Park from 12 noon this Saturday (13th June), where among a wide variety of stalls and performers and entertainment you can purchase a copy of a new anthology written by Loughborough students past & present on the theme of holidays.

You can also purchase copies of other books written by Loughborough alumni, including Sophie-Louise Hyde’s award-winning You is for University and Ines Varela-Silva’s The Maya: A Living Culture of the 21st Century, which was launched in this very Library last summer.

Further details of the event can be found on the Charnwood Arts webpage here: