A ceremonial mace is an ornamental object that symbolises the authority of an organisation or a person and can be found in parliaments and royal palaces across the world.
Many universities across the country and the world already have a mace and following the success of our 150th anniversary celebrations, now is the time to create one for Oxford Brookes.
Our ceremonial mace will embody the authority of Oxford Brookes University, and its presence at events such as graduations will depict our confidence and symbolise the University’s authority during these important occasions.
Students and recent alumni (within 5 years) were invited to submit designs for a celebratory mace that embodies Oxford Brookes University. The design brief outlined the key functional requirements for the mace and asked students to submit a concept and an initial design. Using these initial designs and feedback from the three short listed artists, mace manufacturer Frattorini have developed technical designs.
Staff and students are invited to vote on which of the shortlisted maces they would like to see as Oxford Brookes University’s mace.
Vote on which design is your favourite, provide you staff or student number (you only get one vote) and provide feedback if you so desire.
“The symbolic motif of the oak Tree of Knowledge / Tree of Life / Family Tree also embodies Brookes’ guiding principles of Confidence (the mighty oak), Generosity of Spirit (nourishing eco-system), Connectedness (DNA double-helix trunk/roots,) and the University’s environmental ethos. Meanwhile, the 4 main branches represent its 4 faculties, and the canopy (with 150 cut-out leaves) references Brookes’ long history.
Finally, the ‘seed’ acorn (inscribed with 1865 and an Oxford skyline incorporating ‘white rabbit ears,’) references the University’s origins in the year that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published and Matthew Arnold wrote the famous Thyrsis (‘dreaming spires’) poem.”
"The design is based on the oak tree representing the university’s strong foundations as well as its environmental ethos. The universities beginnings as the Oxford School of Art, represented by the golden acorn at the base of the design. Nine roots around the acorn symbolize the foundation upon which Brookes was derived, each root represents 10 of the 90 students that studied at the Oxford School of Art. They serve to show the humble beginnings Brookes came from. The base of the mace is made from three types of material, representing the three main campuses at Brookes. They are intertwined to show the unity of the university. The central ring is made from silver and is engraved with the University logo. A crest of oak leaves contains exactly 180 small leaves in the bottom ring, 1 leaf represents 100 students, representing the 18000 students at Brookes. The second ring has exactly 30 leaves, 1 for every 100 employees at Brookes."
"One of the key aspects of my design is the oak tree, a symbol of Oxford Brookes, particularly in the symbol used during the University’s 150th anniversary. I have utilised both the oak tree and individual oak leaves in my design, representing the unique individuals that make up the university."
"The design will be unique to Oxford Brookes, as the bark pattern on the bronze grip will be cast from a tree on the university campus. The glass oak leaf set in the base of the mace will be made by the Brookes School of Arts, meaning that students will be able to play a part in the making of the mace."
Competitions such as ‘Design a Mace’ and the ‘Pavilion Competition’ provide Oxford Brookes students with real life experience in entering design competitions. In turn these designs add to the rich tapestry of art and our history. We hope to provide more opportunities for our students and alumni to showcase their talents.
The three shortlisted artists and their design concept drawings will form part of an art exhibition in the Glass Tank Exhibition space in Abercrombie from 3 April to 5 May.