somnium mundi was a posthumous exhibition of the work of artist Oliver Wortley, who graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2013.
Translated directly from the Latin meaning ‘dream world’, somnium mundi takes us on a journey along mountain trails, rivers and coastal paths, presenting glimmers and moments caught on film, sketch book scraps, and in handwritten text. Man is shown as a curious yet destructive species whose politics and culture are overshadowed by the mightiness of the natural landscape. Oliver’s work presents a playful dichotomy between the strength and reliability of nature, and the destructive frivolity of high fashion and contemporary media culture.
Put together by friends, family and former peers, the exhibition showcased work made when Oliver was a student at Oxford Brookes University. He gained a BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 2013.
Stephen Cornford, Subject Co-ordinator and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Oxford Brookes University, remembering Oliver as an emerging artist and student at Oxford Brookes University “Oliver joined Brookes in the second year and his generous personality had an immediate impact on the peer group that he joined. Through his poetic works and his thoughtful challenge of orthodoxies he strove to forge a positive connection with his political, social and natural environment. This promising artist and lovely young man is sorely missed.”
The exhibition was a true demonstration that “to live is to leave traces, figuratively and literally” [Oliver Wortley]. Oliver passed away in May 2014.
Donations were collected for Mind, the mental health charity.
The exhibition was held at HATCH, an ex-bank branch on Little Clarendon Street, transformed into flexible and innovative space for use by the community.