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North Hinksey Parish Council, Vale of the White Horse District Council and community charity Fusion Arts are working in partnership with local artists, residents and schools to enrich the Botley West Way development with several exciting new public artworks.
Following a December 2020 callout, North Hinksey Parish Council have commissioned
artists Nor Greenhalgh, Alex Wenham and Clare Goodall to create three separate yet
interconnected works that will bring vibrancy and local character to the new West Way
development. These artworks will be in a range of mediums including mosaic, stone carving
and mural painting. This new initiative aims to offer something for the whole community,
with the art being inspired by Botley’s history, heritage, wildlife and people.
The artists immersed themselves in local historical material, met with local residents and
councillors and spoke to the Botley GAP action group to determine what is required from this
project and discuss the type of public artworks that might be desirable in and around West Way. The artists went on a nature walk with local residents to explore Botley’s wildlife and ecological habitats, and met the Botley Seniors Lunch Club to learn about what the area around West Way means to them, and their views and hopes for the new development. Local councillors shared the history of Botley and introduced the artists to volunteers at the local food bank. The public consultation days, which took part last March and September, were an additional rich resource for the artists to draw inspiration for the artworks.
A local resident who grew up on the farm that used to be where the West Way is now, walked
artist Nor around the site, showing her original milk bottles which have been unearthed by the
“I'm so excited to be working with the local council and Fusion Arts on the forthcoming mural artwork, which I hope will make a currently blank wall more interesting to people using the area. I've been inspired by the history of the site, which used to be a dairy farm, as well as the rich natural history of the nature reserves nearby. Botley is a place of contrasts between the old and new, and I'm looking forward to playing with some of the visual motifs that come from this contrast of scales between the small and large, ancient and modern.”
Nor is continuing to engage with local young people to create two murals over the coming months, to be painted later this spring.
Inspired by Botley's wildlife, mosaic-artist Clare Goodall worked with Botley Primary School inwhich local children drew domestic insects and plant life. Clare used these drawings to design the mosaic panels, depicting Botley’s wetlands and wildlife in different scales and perspectives.
The three mosaic panels were then made during some fun workshops last year with North
Hinksey Primary School and local residents. These three colourful landscapes will brighten up
the outside walls of the community building:
“I have really enjoyed working with local people of Botley on this project, getting people together after Covid has felt so positive and rewarding. The children from Botley school produced some amazing drawings which inspired my designs for the mosaic panels and the children from North Hinksey Primary School did some very careful mosaic work on the bugs and butterfly panel. I want to thank all the local people that spared the time to join in with the making of the tree panel and wetlands / fern panel. It was so much more enjoyable to work with them and get together and share skills and stories, cake and tea!”
“My thinking in the designs was to capture the beauty of the natural landscape, skies and wildlife that Botley sits within. Bringing this to public attention as a daily reminder of the beauty and restorative effect that nature can have on us.”
Everyone is invited to the Big Art Reveal Event of the new artworks in West Way Square 11am on Saturday 18th March.
Read the latest Fusion Arts blog and news updates.
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