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Announcing the 2022 Gower Prize Winners

The Gower Memorial Creative Arts Prize of up to £500 is awarded every three years thanks to a generous benefaction by Mr and Mrs Robert Gower in memory of their daughter, Philippa.

This prize is open to any undergraduate or graduate member of Oriel College for a work in any aspect of the creative arts, other than music. This includes but is not limited to painting and drawing, sculpture, photography, poetry, drama, prose, and artistic performance.

The 2022 Gower Prize Joint- Winners are Dowon Jung (2021, History), who illustrated a series of three books, and Roland Fischer-Vousden (2020, MSt Creative Writing) who wrote two sonnets: The Room after Epilepsy and First Division. The runner-up was Aidan Robertson (2020, PPE), who illustrated an art piece titled ‘Big Headed’.

You can see their winning works below.

Joint First Prize: Dowon Jung (2021, History)

A series of three Illustrated books by Dowon Jung (2021, BA History)
Dowon Illustrated the covers of three books; ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’ by Matsuo Basho, ‘The Sutra of the Basket’s Display, Volume 1’ and ‘Metamorphoses, Book X’ by Ovid.

Joint First Prize: Roland
Fischer-Vousden (2020, MSt Creative Writing)

Roland wrote the following sonnets;

Two Sonnets
The Room after Epilepsy

When you were collecting your possessions

making an application to leave –

something naive like a drive to the country

or a walk in the year’s first real sun

or a picnic outside in a churchyard

or coffee with a lid that degrades –

I caught your eye dilate in a mirror,

in the application of mascara.

You make a small noise like gurgling,

painted in a pose of ascension,

then unlearn swimming into the carpet:

thrash, froth, drown the skin of your face to bone.

Lie still now, small person, you cannot go,

my curtains are long and black and drawn.

First Division

If the line is held a second longer,

longer still than the attention span,

then make the run and the pass will follow.

But these were fallow years when things got slower,

bad execution of a conceited plan,

shuffling sideways, the play has lost its flow.

Left trying different forms, none of them right,

the run is a word off, the pass tangled

into the knot of the last line well held:

won’t win it back, knowing we lack the fight.

Remembering a time when things came easy,

sprung the defence with a couplet, on the break,

pages of space, skipping fast past, passing breezy,

the option no one saw, the only one you’d take.

‘Two Sonnets’ By Roland Fischer-Vousden (2020, MSt Creative Writing)

Third prize: Aidan Robertson (2020, PPE)

An illustration titled ‘Big Headed’ by Aidan Robertson (2020, PPE)