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Culture, Art

Local Talent: Best of British

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The idea for an open studios event in the UK was first mulled over around a kitchen table in Oxford forty years ago. The first Artweeks was held the following spring – a small local event and the first of its kind in the UK. Since then, millions of visitors have enjoyed the friendly welcome of Oxfordshire artists, and the Oxfordshire Artweeks festival is still the biggest and best in Britain. We’ve picked 12 pieces of art that showcase Britain, near and far, in all its glory.

The river Thames passes through the beautiful market town of Wallingford in this fresh picture by Artweeks newcomer Hannah McCague, exhibiting at Ayres House Studio in Wallingford (venue 246) in May.

Prints are available from £19.99 from her Etsy shop /hannahelizabethetsy

The iconic red postbox by Meg Harris of May I Design is available as a card, £3.50, and an A5 notebooks, £7.50. Visit Meg’s studio by Crawley Mill in Witney during May (venue 370) to see her more of her freehand machine embroidery originals and stitched designs.

This colour-filled copper plate etching was inspired by the striking view from Uffington’s White Horse Hill, the highest point in Oxfordshire. You can see this and similar works during May when Morna Rhys is exhibiting at the Blandford Avenue Marquee (venue 63, Summertown).

Print, £280

Seaside Poppies by Alexandra Buckle is a limited edition print, a reduction linocut that celebrates the beauty of the British beach. You can see Alexandra’s work in Bicester in May (venue 327).


We love this striking image of West Pier, Brighton by photographer Stuart Feurtado. You can see Stuart’s work in Deddington in May (venue 453).

Mounted and framed. £85.00,

‘The British weather!’ by Jane Tomlinson – also exhibiting in Freeland near Witney (venue 356) in May.

Signed prints £40

What could be more British than a teapot? Cream porcelain teapot with celadon by Marieke O’Connor. Marieke is exhibiting in Headington for Oxfordshire Artweeks (venue 103).

£35. Contact via

By Long Hanborough sculptor Marie Shepherd, Male Hare – The Chaser in bronze resin epitomises life in the British countryside. You can visit Marie’s sculpture garden in May (venue 349).

Price on application

Artist Paul Minter, exhibiting in Abingdon in May (venue 184) paints very British stately homes. This is Castle Howard, Drawing Room.


Bolton Abbey and stepping stones, Yorkshire by Thomas Shepherd whose work can be seen in Summertown in May (venue 87). Prints are available in three sizes, each limited to a run of 75.

See for more information.

Wastwater, Lake District, a vista voted winner of Britain's favourite view by the public in an ITV poll, as photographed by Claire Brooks. You can see more of Claire’s art (venue 87) in May.

Limited edition print (of 10) £300,

‘Eric’, a Swaledale ram by Petra Richards is drawn in coloured pencils and pan pastels. See more of Petra’s art in Bampton in May (venue 381).



nik kershaw
Fri 31 May 2024

Nik Kershaw’s debut album Human Racing came out in 1984 and saw him dominating the singles chart with tracks including Wouldn’t It Be Good, I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me and Dancing Girls. Swiftly followed by The Riddle, Nik spent 62 weeks in the charts and was one of the musicians to play Live Aid in July 1985.

Nell Mescal pwj9ug
Fri 31 May 2024

For the uninitiated, Nell Mescal (yes, sister of actor Paul) is an Irish singer-songwriter who hit the festival circuit hard last summer, playing (amongst others) The Great Escape, BST Hyde Park, Boardmasters and Live at Leeds. This year, she’s headed to Oxfordshire and Alex James’ Big Feastival for August bank holiday weekend. Eloise Lonsdale caught up with her to find out more about her musical style and her recently launched EP, Can I Miss it For a Minute.

Sea Girls Credit Blacksocks qoafap
Fri 31 May 2024

2024’s Truck line-up looks to be one of its best yet, balancing big names with emerging artists and beloved regulars. As an event, it has come to mark start of the summer holidays for its devoted attendees, but how about the acts? We caught up with Oli Khan, drummer in indie-rock band Sea Girls to get the bands-eye view.

Corinne Bailey Rae
Wed 1 May 2024

Corinne Bailey Rae’s Put Your Records On snap-shotted the summer of 2006. Her most recent release, Black Rainbows came out 2023 and it is obvious to hear how much she is relishing the full range of her unique voice and, as I was to discover when we spoke, her extraordinarily lyrical vocabulary.