Alexander Beleschenko's 'Path' in the Forum

University honours international artist at Winter Graduation

The University of Exeter joined in the success of its 900 graduates who received degrees at the 2013 winter graduation ceremonies on Saturday 19 June.

Among those graduating was the artist Alexander Beleschenko, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate. Beleschenko primarily works in the medium of glass, and was the artist commissioned to produce a unique piece of architectural glasswork for the Forum complex.  The finished concertina spiral design, “Path”, has become an iconic symbol of the University.

Born in Corby, Northamptonshire, to Ukrainian parents, Belaschenko moved to Exeter in the early 1980s to pursue his artistic career.  Half a mile away from the University of Exeter, Belaschenko set up his first glass studio, a very humble beginning but an achievable one.  He worked on commissioned pieces for schools, private houses and a local hotel before gaining opportunities for larger commissions. Belaschenko’s vision was set on a different kind of architecture for his work because he could see that there was an opportunity to have contemporary art in glass made for modern architecture.

After beginning his stained glass career in Exeter in the 1980s, Beleschenko went on to produce many internationally renowned works, including mirrors in the Odeon Bar, Munich, atrium glass on the cruise ship “Solstice”, glass screens in the Trinity Church in Boston, USA, and glass sculptures at the Met Office in Exeter.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Janice Kay said:“‘In recognition not only of this particular piece, but also his internationally renowned body of work, the University of Exeter is delighted that Alex will accept an honorary doctorate.”

Alex Belaschenko said:”I am extremely proud to accept this honour.  It is an additional gift because I have always felt completely rewarded and thanked for the work I have contributed to the award winning Forum building. I have received nothing but praise ever since the glass artwork was installed.  For me it is usual to complete a work in a public space and rarely get to know how an audience reacts, or engages with it so to receive this honour is unexpected and most welcome.”

New graduates leave Exeter with a degree from the Sunday Times University of the Year. Having seen the University go from strength-to-strength during their studies, they will enter graduate life with an internationally recognised qualification.

Professor Stephen Rippon, Dean of Graduate Research, said:“Graduation is always an exciting time as we get to celebrate the achievements of our next generation of leaders in business, industry and scholarship. Whilst an undergraduate degree provides an excellent foundation for graduate employment, postgraduate study allows students to further develop their skills, and go on to make a real impact on society through ground-breaking research.”

 

Date: 15 January 2013

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