A COMPETITION is being proposed to find a piece of artwork which could form a focal point for the West Way redevelopment scheme.
Doric Properties, the developer behind the £100m shopping centre plans, wants people to design a “landmark sculpture” which it says will sit in a “focal” point if the controversial project gets the go-ahead.
The company wants to demolish the empty Elms Court office block, West Way shopping centre, Botley Library, Seacourt Hall and the Botley Baptist Church for 500 student flats, shops, a cinema and a hotel.
A planning application has been submitted to Vale of White Horse District Council, which will make a final decision.
The artwork will be commissioned subject to planning permission being given for the scheme.
The competition was trialled at Oxford Art Fair last month and Doric is consulting with local groups and art consultancy company Art Projects to develop a brief for the project. So far, 17 people have registered interest in taking part in the competition.
The piece must be relevant to the Botley area.
Oxfordshire artist Patrick Cannon, above, said: “Botley is a very special place to me having spent time there throughout my childhood.
“Creating artwork that could be enjoyed by the community through Doric’s proposals is an opportunity I couldn’t miss.
“The subject of my paintings varies from the Oxfordshire countryside to central London.
“I already have a few ideas for what I envisage for Botley.”
Oxford Art Fair organiser Joelle Dinnage said: “Doric’s public art competition is an amazing opportunity for local artists to showcase their talent.
“The Oxford Art Fair went really well, having built on previous years’ success, and I’m glad that many of those who exhibited have registered their interest in the competition.
“I would be thrilled for their work to be commissioned.”
Simon Hillcox, of Doric Properties said: “We’re really pleased by the response from local artists already and have high hopes for this competition creating something special for the local community.
“Public art is something that can help define a place and we’ll be looking for further public participation in other artistic elements of the scheme as our plans develop.”
Artists can register interest through the Contact Us page at doricproperties.com
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