Bianco del Mare

Commissioned by Hatfield Technical College

College Plan is one of five works which inaugurated the Collection. Trevor Tennant was commissioned in 1948 to respond to the architect's design for the Main Building of Hatfield Technical College. Reproduced in a clean white stone, this schematic relief depicts the original geometric footprint, which is now somewhat obscured by more recent architectural developments. Tennant predominantly carved sculptures for public spaces and believed passionately in placing artistic creativity at the heart of everyday life.

College Plan was relocated to its current site in 2013 from the former Main Entrance to the University.


Commissioned by the University of Hertfordshire

Hatfield Cairn was commissioned during Andy Goldsworthy's residency in December 2001. Used since prehistoric times, cairns are mounds of rough stones built as a memorial or landmark. Since the 1980s Goldsworthy has worked with this motif, making cairns all over the world in many materials including stone, ice, branches and slate. Goldsworthy is renowned globally for his contribution to 'Land Art'; creating ephemeral and permanent site-specific sculptures that masterfully contribute to the natural beauty of rural locations.


Commissioned by the University of Hertfordshire

John Farnham was born in Hertfordshire where he continues to live and work. Growing up next door to Henry Moore, he was fortunate to become Moore's assistant. After a lengthy apprenticeship that encompassed all aspects of sculpture, from building armatures to making enlargements, Farnham established his own artistic practice. Torso comes from a series of bronze sculptures in which he depicts an abstracted human form with curvaceous and muscular qualities. Much like his tutor's working process, Farnham allows the colour and features of the material with which he works to determine the final outcome.


Donated by Barbara Lander to the University of Hertfordshire Art Collection

Entrance is an 'assemblage' that has been constructed from new and found pieces of steel. In the artist's hands discarded scrap is given new life, coming together with new elements to create a fresh sculptural form. Like many sculptures produced during the 1990s, the materials and welding process give the work an industrial feel. However, Barbara Lander intended Entrance to embody motherhood, both the physical side of childbirth and the more emotional responsibilities of becoming a parent and protector.


Commissioned by Pat Ingram to commemorate her period as President of Unison 1995/6

Untitled (Bench) can be defined as both 'street furniture' and sculpture, going beyond the core function of a bench to suggest an organic form. The choice of material is unusual for large outdoor sculpture, but the colour and texture aptly reflect elements from the natural world, whether this is vertebrae, shells, rocks, gullies or glaciers. Untitled (Bench) was fired at Digswell Arts Trust between 1996 and 1998 whilst Hermione Harper completed a fellowship there.

Stainless steel, sound, light, photographs

Commissioned by the Natural History Museum, London. Donated to the Collection with generous support from Tony Moore.

This immersive and multi-sensory sculpture invites people inside to participate, rather than merely observe. The reflective quality of the surfaces is disorientating but places us directly within the sculpture. The crunch of slate beneath our feet is echoed in the sound piece that captures glacial movement. Our attention is drawn to the series of small vignettes, featuring illuminated images of different minerals. Mountain is one of several artworks that have resulted from Diane Maclean's collaborations with scientists working in the field of climate change and mineralogy. A graduate in Fine Art from the University of Hertfordshire in the 1980s, Diane Maclean received an Honorary Doctorate three decades later (2017) in acknowledgement of her impressive career as a sculptor.

Currently not on display

Barbara Hepworth’s extraordinary career as a sculptor spanned five decades. She was recognised internationally for developing direct carving techniques into natural materials. Vertical Forms depicts a trio of interlocking abstracted figures that were inspired by multiple drawings of dancers, who regularly visited the artist’s studio. The sculpture was created at a time when Hepworth turned away from her interest in landscape and concentrated on the human figure, and in particular small groups of figures. As one of the Collection’s founding works, Vertical Forms was originally built directly into the brick fabric of the Main Building. It was housed there for nearly seven decades before being removed for conservation work after enduring significant weathering (2019). The sculpture is currently on loan to The Hepworth Wakefield museum until 2022, after which it will be re-sited on campus in a protected location.

Stainless steel

Commissioned by UH Arts to commemorate the University's Diamond Jubilee in 2013

This discrete series of sculptures are interactive, only coming to life when a participant strikes them. Nicola Hutchison invites passers-by to create their own music with these 14 metallic spheres, each sphere a different size and producing a different tone. The artist's interest lies in developing ways people can listen more attentively to the sounds and rhythms of a given environment. She also highlights the repeated architectural feature of the three courtyards and the flow of students, staff and visitors through these walkways.

Nicola Hutchison graduated in MSc Music Composition for Film and Media from the University of Hertfordshire (2011).


Commissioned by the University of Hertfordshire

Sir Geoffrey de Havilland was an aeronautical engineer and aviation pioneer. He constructed his first machine in 1909 without having seen an aeroplane in flight and remarkably taught himself to fly. De Havilland went on to design more than fifty aircraft, notably among these were the Mosquito, DH-2 fighter and the DH-4 light bomber, which saw worldwide service and played a major role in the establishment of U.S. Air Mail.

In 1951 the de Havilland Company gave land to Hertfordshire County Council for educational use as Hatfield Technical College. This life-size bronze statue was unveiled much later by The Duke of Edinburgh in 1997. It accurately depicts Sir Geoffrey de Havilland within the conventions of traditional commemorative portraiture.

Corten steel

Birch Student Sculpture Commission 2009

Spiral Bridge is deliberately located at the meeting point of the new architecture of The Forum and Nursery, and the old woodland beyond. Its form and scale were inspired by meteorological diagrams that represent the meeting of hot and cold air fronts, which create a spiral shape as rising hot air is forced down by cold air fronts. Bedded permanently in the ground, this sculptural intervention has literally become part of the campus landscape. The choice of Corten steel is significant; known as 'weathering steel' this material forms a stable rust-like appearance if exposed to the elements for several years.

Tabatha Gravener graduated in Fine Art from the University of Hertfordshire (2011).

Generously sponsored by Birch Engineering.


Little is known about this modest figure carved in stone, almost lost within its wooded setting. The artist depicts the human body abstracted in an unsophisticated, even primitive style.

Stainless steel

Birch Student Sculpture Commission 2015

The sculpture takes its name from the meteorological term 'altocumulus' describing a cloud formation of rounded masses with a level base. Zoe Lynch translates this into an ornate asymmetric archway, cleverly transforming a robust material into a delicate layer, by a complex punctured pattern. The sculpture is light-dependent, becoming almost translucent in sunlight and projecting dramatic shadows at other times. Within this open landscaped area of the campus, Altocumulus sits comfortably among the other natural features of grass, trees and water.

Zoe Lynch graduated in Fine Art from the University of Hertfordshire (2016).

Generously sponsored by Birch Engineering.

Steel and scrap car components

Birch Student Sculpture Commission 2008

Located among living trees of similar height, Vusumuzi Michael Mlambo's bespoke palm tree is well camouflaged and potentially tricks the viewer with a kind of 'trompe l'oeil' (an art technique that creates an optical illusion). This 'assemblage' unites metal components from scrap cars, with new elements to create a hybrid species. The sculpture's materials and title open up questions about the role trees play in the echo-system and the impact of fuel emissions on the natural world. Vusumuzi Michael Mlambo graduated in Fine Art from the University of Hertfordshire (2009).

Generously sponsored by Birch Engineering.

Coloured Stainless steel

Donated by Diane Maclean to the University of Hertfordshire Art Collection

This imposing 4.5metre high sculpture takes its name and inspiration from the well-known ancient Chinese spinning toy: a diabolo. Its form relates to a number of other outdoor sculptures that Diane Maclean has created based on pyramidal shapes. The dynamic surface changes from red, purple, blue, to gold. The colour is created by daylight entering a fine oxide layer and varies as the viewer moves around the sculpture in the changing light of day. This scientific dimension to the sculpture is typical of Maclean’s practice.

A graduate in Fine Art from the University of Hertfordshire in the 1980s, Diane Maclean received an Honorary Doctorate three decades later (2017) in acknowledgement of her impressive career as a sculptor.