Chapel Street, Oxford – Public Art Commission for A2 Dominion May – Sept 2013
Following on from completing the posted sculpture I have been straight into the next commission creating a wall mounted piece for a new building in Oxford.
This commission has come under a Section 106 requirement of the new development of student accommodation just off Cowley Road in Oxford. The brief was to create a durable wall mounted sculpture on the main gatehouse building that is on the road front of the development. The walls that I could use were specified by the architect and the commissioners A2 Dominion also wanted me to work with the East Oxford Primary School situated adjacent to the development.
Working with my current theme of maps and journeys I thought the building could take a large scale work that was my interpretation of the River Cherwell flowing to the north of the City. I spent a day with a class in school talking about my work and the pupils worked up sketches based on the river and maps and their recent visit to the river bank. Part of their involvement was to give the new development a name. In May 2013 this class visited my forge and gallery for a day. They had a demonstration of forging and time was spent sketching and exploring the farm including a walk through the bluebell woods. It was a really fantastic day!
The design work for this project was really great for me, I enjoy the research aspect and turning a 2D work into a 3D piece that works with the building and location and fulfils the H & S requirements and can be made to fit the building, on time and within budget.
The most challenging part was ensuring the metal art work could be fixed to the non-traditional brick-slip construction method – that each fixing hit a mortar joint and wooden batten behind. I made a lovely slotted punch to use for this that gave me some room for error on fixing.
The design had some alterations to make it fit the building and has had to be changed as the building has been completed to miss added obstacles like vents but is very true to the sketch work I started with.
|Melissa Cole East elevation Chapel St, Oxford Design 2 May 2013