As a requirement of the West Way Square development, the developers Mace had to provide S106 funding specifically for public art in and around the shopping centre.
NHPC, working with Abigail Brown, Oxfordshire Arts Development Officer, conducted initial community consultation at a community event in January 2020. We subsequently oversaw an artists call out through local and national arts networks, resulting in the commissioning of three locally-based artists working in contrasting media:
- Nor Greenhalgh – (eleanorg.org) – proposal to paint a mural under the underpass – see Nor’s proposal
- Clare Goodall – (cgmosaics.co.uk) – proposal for mosaic work in the shopping area – see Clare’s proposal
- Alex Wenham – (alexwenham.co.uk) – proposal for carved stone boulders – see Alex’s proposal
Fusion Arts is managing the community consultation. The aim is for the artworks to visually enhance and improve the area, build community connections and create a “Sense of Place”, destination and identity. This will be achieved through a process of community engagement and consultation as well as by the siting and artistic content of the final pieces themselves.
Find out more here about the artists, the community consultation work so far, and more about their commissions.
Background documents on the process between Nov 2020 and April 2021 can be found online here.
Meanwhile, Botley GAP (Gateway Art Project) has formed to improve the gateway to Botley – the area under the A34 – with a vibrant art project working with Nor and the community. Although it doesn’t mark any official boundary, that point on the map is a transition and a gateway to Botley and areas beyond and is in desperate need of improvement.
Botley GAP is a working party of people who are keen to improve the gateway area as part of the wider project focusing specifically on the gateway area. There is a need to raise more funding and get grants or local and national businesses involved. Only part of the section 106 money can be spent outside the shopping area and so more funding is required if we really want to make the most of this opportunity.
There will be opportunities to get involved in community consultation on all parts of the public art project in the months to come. Please check our home page news items for the latest information. For general queries email email@example.com