Art in Headington

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Art at Underhill Circus, Barton (2008)

Underhill Circus

The above rocks (which double up as seats) are in the “garden of respect” at Underhill Circus, to the left of the pillars below. Mosaics made of ceramic tiles and designed by local children are embedded in the rocks.

Underhill Circus pillars

A walkway of six illuminaed multi-coloured glass panels flank the path leading down to the new semicircle of paving in front of the shops that the city council calls the “amphitheatre” (despite the fact that it is not circular). They depict the history of Barton, and all have a large UC at the top standing for Underhill Circus on top of photographs.

There are about 300 different pictures in the panels, many created by children from Barton during workshops held on the estate. Their signed designs are on the lower half of each pillar and are designed to be viewed from the back.

The scheme was chosen by the people of Barton in preference to a triumphal arch leading down to the amphitheatre.
Oxford Mail, 16 January 2007: “Residents vote for illuminated walkway in facelift

Roman Barton
Roman Barton [glass smashed]
Barton people
Barton People
Church and events
Barton Church and events
Barton Festival 1993
Barton Festival 1993
Barton Festival 1998
Barton Festival 1998
Barton Bash 2007
Barton Festival 2007

On 20 December 2005 the North East Area Committee recommended to the City Council Executive Board that the Council should approve the Section 106 contribution of £78,285 from the Bernwood School Development as well as a further contribution of £150,000 due to be received from them in October 2006 to be used towards the Underhill Circus scheme.

In addition the Oxford Citizens Housing Association, the developers who built 41 homes on site of Beckley View House, Fettiplace Road (05/00641/FUL) were required to provide “Section 106” public art costing 1% of the total development cost (estimated between £32,000–£38,000).

In May 2006 the city council approved a planning application to renew and extend the public space in front of the shops, including new landscaping works (06/00433/CT4). This provided a new semi-circular stepped “amphitheatre” formed from preformed Blanc de Bierges concrete units, which are similar to hand-dressed stone. The project was completed in March 2008.

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© Stephanie Jenkins


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