I set out to capture some of the faces behind the halls and residences of the University of Bristol while they’re still there.
Since 2010 I have photographed various events linked to the university, predominantly for halls and residences but also for societies, subjects, alumni etc. During this time I have noticed how each hall is unique, driven by those running them.
Over the last month I sat down with 10 wardens, deputy wardens and student support advisers. We spoke about what they do at the university and their role at a residence, what led them to Bristol and in some cases their thoughts on the residential life proposals.
The exhibited photos were all taken prior to the announcement of the revised residential life plans. A couple of the images are shown below and the rest will be uploaded after the exhibition.
I am considering doing another round of photos for those that I didn’t find time to meet. Please contact me if you are keen to be involved: email@example.com.
Photo - Wills Hall grounds
Robert has been warden of Wills Hall for nearly three years. Prior to this, from 2012 to 2015, he was Head of the School of Modern Languages. Towards the end of the term he was looking for something with more direct contact with students and the warden’s role seemed ideal. The warden role goes well with the academic side of teaching German, as he has learned a great deal about how student life really works, which he feels will improve his impact as an academic and teacher in future.
Robert is married with three children and juggles the demands of an academic post, a pastoral role and family responsibilities as best he can. He tries not work (too hard) at the weekends so that he can spend them with family, but is always on call in Wills. He is an enthusiastic cook and enjoys experimenting with new technology in the kitchen.
Wills Hall has fourteen formals a year, at which Robert usually gives a speech. He tries to make these relevant to the occasion (talking about Robert Burns on Burns Night or ‘in persona’ as Professor Dumbledore for the Harry Potter Formal). The students like the tradition of wearing gowns too. He tries to maintain a visible presence in the hall, often hosting a round in the hall’s bar, attending (and taking part in) cultural activities and events such as concerts, the pantomime and chapel. Last October he organised for some of the residents to collect and press apples from the Stoke Bishop grounds, with the generous help of other UoB staff, excellent juice was produced for sharing (and for some to make cider from!).
Robert is an avid book collector with his office filled top-to-bottom on all four walls and is not looking forward to potentially having to move them all out this summer.
Photo - Goldney Hall gardens
Amber studied French and German from 2011-2014 and then continued her study with a masters between September 2015 and 2016 whilst being a senior resident at Goldney.
Three student support adviser positions became available, one of which was Goldney with Hillside Woodside and 2 other positions for other halls. Whilst 3 positions were available, having lived at Goldney during her undergrad and as a senior resident, Amber only really wanted the position at Goldney. As well as her office based in Goldney, she is SSA for Hillside Woodside and Winkworth House, which allows her to get wider views and perspectives from the different residences and therefore doesn’t focus on just the needs of Goldney.
In her spare time, Amber plays netball and has started reading more, since whilst studying most of the reading time was based on French and German texts. She likes dog walking over at Ashton Court and Leigh Woods, but has spent a fair amount of time with Goldney cat, that has recently had £600 raised for vet bills and special food by the residents.
Amber attends the annual Goldney / Constitution Ball and is looking forward to a university friend from Goldney coming back to have their wedding in The Orangery.
The student support advisers meet up regularly as a group for social activities. If there was one warden she’d like to get to know more, it would be Robert Villain of Wills Hall, who was also one of her professors in German.