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Culture, Art

Local talent: Inspired by the Written Word


Artweeks artists and makers inspired by the written word celebrate letters, literature and the lyrics of the landscape.

Claire Cross

'Literary Oxford', by Abingdon’s Claire Cross, includes the places associated with famous authors - both male and female - and their works in Oxford.

Prints available from

Claire Cross Literary Oxford C

David Williams

Dancing Otters by sculptor David Williams is carved from Ancaster Limestone and stands 130cm tall. The plinth inscription is the first line of Robert MacFarlane's poem 'Otter', used with kind permission of the writer. It reads 'Otter enters river without falter - what a supple slider out of holt and into water'.

Price £2400. Contact

David Williams Otter Sculpture

Thomas Shepherd

Blackwell’s and Waterstone’s in Oxford, part of artist Thomas Shephers’s project to “illustrate himself around the country” and create a The Booklover’s Guide to Bookshops, because, “books and stories and words are important, and bookshops are universally beautiful places.”

Prints, cards and calendar available in time for Christmas at £9.50 plus P&P from

Thomas Shepherd Blackwellls – Oxford

Marjolein Trewavas

Paper flower wreaths by Marjolein Trewavas incorporate old legal papers, books, ledger pages, documents, deeds and letters.

Prices from £17.50, commissions accepted. Contact for further information.

Marjolein Trewavas Paper Document Flower Wreath

Cathy Read

This original British Library Painting is by contemporary architecture artist Cathy Read (96 x 76 cm framed; £1344).

Cards are available at £3.60 and digital limited edition prints from A4 - A2 range from £47-£150.

Cathy Read – British Library

Jill Smith

Autumn by Jill Smith from a series of paintings on Time and the Seasons (acrylic and acrylic inks on watercolour paper.

24 x 34 cm, £160 framed

Jane Tomlinson

Jane Tomlinson’s Magpie Song is a painting in watercolour and Indian ink illustrating the traditional rhyme One for sorrow, Two for joy etc. In this piece Jane has shown ten birds from all angles to make the most of their gorgeous plumage and glossy, long tails. “For a black and white bird, they are amazingly colourful – their plumage can appear green, blue and purple in certain light”.

Signed A2 prints available from £36

Jane Tomlinson Magpie Song

Liz Dee

Bespoke handwriting jewellery in sterling silver on 16-18” chains by Liz Dee, The Silver Workshop – available as pendants, brooches, bracelets, cufflinks or lapel pins.

Commissions start from £55.

Emma Whyte

Upcycled furniture by Emma Whyte inspired by the natural world and featuring words, places and patterns.

Sarah Hanner Hopwood

This painting by Sarah Hanner Hopwood was inspired by the lyrics of The Beatles' 'Blackbird': watercolour, collage and thread on 300gsm cotton paper.

Available framed, £75+ £5 P&P from

Sharon Highway

Sharon Highway hand-makes Mallory Journals with a selection of 20 leather colours. Each cover is lined with beautiful decorative paper, including Chiyogami and Maps (A6 from £25, A5 from £35)

See more at Custom orders welcomed.  

Anna Dillon

Glimmering Moon by Anna Dillon, inspired by the John Masefield’s poem August 1914. “John Masefield wrote his poem August 1914 from his home at Lollingdon Farm where he lived from 1914 to 1917. This poem has nineteen verses and Masefield describes his melancholy as he realises that war is coming. For anyone familiar with this area, it is obvious that he’s describing the surrounding villages and chalk Downs,” says Anna. Available as giclee printsfrom

anna dillon’s Glimmering Moon

Kathryn Croxson

Fine bone china mugs featuring letter designs by Kathryn Croxson. £12 plus P&P. Email for further information.


Jake Bugg
Tue 2 Apr 2024

Singer-songwriter Jake Bugg will be on stage at the O2 later this month as part of his mission to bring live music back to the heart of Britain’s communities and grassroots venues. He is currently touring the UK in his bid to reinvigorate the local music scene of some of the UK’s smaller cities and towns and took some time out to tell us more.

Paul Foot 3 wi4hf6
Tue 2 Apr 2024

Award-winning quirky and alternative comedian Paul Foot is returning to Oxford this month with his new show, Dissolve which is set to be his most vulnerable and honest yet. We got in touch to find out what we can expect from his performance at Oxford’s New Theatre, as well as – in very Paul Foot fashion – getting side-tracked by King  Tutankhamen, and what  Jesus might have  achieved if  he'd been a plumber...

Katie otb8tw
Fri 1 Mar 2024

This month, Katie Melua will be in Oxford, helping to launch the Oxford Literary Festival’s new Programme in Georgian Literature and Culture.

Namvula BBC Music nuyc98
Fri 1 Mar 2024

Described as having a diasporic upbringing, singer-songwriter Namvula is also a gifted photographer and was co-founder of Film Africa, a London-based celebration of African cinema and culture. She now lives in Oxford where she will be performing later this month at The North Wall.