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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.


Aled Jones
Fri 1 Dec 2023

For over 40 years, Aled Jones MBE has been the (un)official ‘voice of Christmas’ since recording Walking In The Air for the 1982 adaptation of the Raymond Briggs’ classic, The Snowman.

The Big Moon 2 kcrpxf
Fri 1 Dec 2023

London-based female quartet, The Big Moon are back on tour following a summer of festivals, and on 15 November they’re coming to Oxford’s O2 Academy.

Prue L
Thu 1 Jun 2023

We spoke to Prue Leith ahead of her appearance at Kite Festival in June.

Sara Pascoe
Wed 1 Feb 2023

We got in touch with Sara Pascoe ahead of her show at New Theatre Oxford in March.