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Queen’s Remote Photography Competition

6 June 2020

Congratulations to Old Member Patrick Spencer (Jurisprudence, 1985) for his winning photo of his home studio, a charming glimpse of his creative endeavours during lockdown. The competition was organised and judged by the JCR’s Arts Rep, Klara Zhao who invited members of College to ‘submit a photo of your lockdown environment, whether it be your workspace, home, garden, or somewhere you pass on your daily walk, and show us how extraordinarily ordinary it is.’

As background to his photo (pictured below), Patrick said: ‘I went up to Queen’s in 1985 as a mature student. I was one of three police officers at Queen’s at the time (the other two being Sir Norman Bettison and Lord Brian Paddick). I retired in 2008 partly through injury and I took up painting as a kind of therapy. The photo is my small rather messy studio place where I am locked down. All the paintings are mine except the one at the top of the boats. The one on the easel is work in progress.’ 

A huge thanks to everyone who submitted photos to the competition. In particular, special mentions go to Maria-Minodora Grosu (English & French, 2019) for her picture of an empty Bucharest arcade, ‘Calea victoriei’ (‘Way of Victory’); Melanie Harris's ‘Covid Apprentice’ (who has been assisting Melanie’s work as the Domestic Bursar’s Administrator!); and Claire Craig (Provost) for the ‘View from my home study’.

‘We received a particularly strong selection of photos from current students, both undergraduates and postgraduates, as well as from staff and alumni,’ said Klara, ‘and it has been a fantastic demonstration of the way in which the members of the college community have been able to discern the beauties of their diverse lockdown environments.’

Klara is also aiming to put together the quaranzine, a little publication as an extension of the photography competition, of creative submissions by the Queen's College community. ‘These may be short pieces of writing, poetry or prose, film, photography, collage, or anything that you feel depicts your lockdown experience, how being stuck in the same place has perhaps altered the way you perceive it, any highlights or dissatisfaction...,’ she explained. ‘Whether you choose to express yourself in words, photos, film, painting, collage, or any other creative medium, it will have a place in what should ultimately be a multimedia document of these unconventional months.’ If you would like to contribute to this project, please contact

Images: Patrick Spencer’s home studio (top); Maria-Miodora Grosu’s ‘Calea victoriei’ (centre left); Melanie Harris’s ‘Covid Apprentice’ (centre right); Claire Craig’s ‘View from my home study’ (bottom).