Several Oxfordshire schools have signed up to be the first designers of some of the Oxen herds that will appear around Oxfordshire next year as part of the widely anticipated giant art sculpture event, OxTrail.
Shiplake CE Primary School, Garsington CE Primary School and Perpetual Childcare childminding services were the first to pledge their support to the event. Their pupils and pre-schoolers will fundraise to sponsor and design a mini ox with the support of a designer.
The mini ox will then be placed in ‘local herds’, which will appear in publicly accessible buildings for eight weeks next summer, alongside the 30 giant oxen that will appear at iconic landmarks and places of interest in the city.
OxTrail has been bought to Oxford by the region’s largest hospice, Sobell House Hospice and its charity. It aims to enlist the support of between 50 and 100 schools and nurseries to have oxen herds across the county for people to visit and enjoy.
Amy White, Key Stage 2 Leader at Shiplake CE Primary School, said: “We are excited to be part of the Oxtrail project and be bringing this event to our local community. As a school, we aspire to be compassionate and have a positive impact in our community. We are looking forward to decorating our own mini ox for our community to enjoy whilst supporting the compassionate care Sobell House Hospice provide.”
Zara d’Archambaud, Headteacher at Garsington CE Primary School, said: “We are very excited to be part of OxTrail 2024. We are all keen artists and love to be creative. All the children and staff will be involved in the designing and creating our unique ox and we are looking forward to people from Oxford and around the world seeing our work.”
Theresa Lamble, Founder and Childminder at Perpetual Childcare, said: “We are very excited to be the first preschool to be part of this project, we will bring energy and enthusiasm, with children, staff, parents and extended family involved in designing the ox in readiness for its forever home. We might be the smallest of the groups but we are mighty and make a great team player of the herd and can’t wait to put down our milk cups to pick up our paintbrushes.”
Thanks to OxTrail’s learning programme, sponsored by Oxford Brookes University, participating schools will benefit from a range of engaging and inspirational resources being made available for lesson planning. Workshops will also be provided to give the school the tools and inspiration to help with the creation of its ox design.
OxTrail will launch to the public on 06 July 2024, and the art will be on display until early September 2024. After this, the sculptures will be auctioned off to raise money for the hospice.
Visit the project’s dedicated website at www.oxtrail2024.co.uk for more information on sponsoring an ox or an OxTrail.