Variety’s the spice of talents for Artweeks

Philip Koomen with his pondlife bench which is made from a sweet chestnut tree found in Bagley Wood. Picture: OX66985 Simon Williams

Buy this photo Philip Koomen with his pondlife bench which is made from a sweet chestnut tree found in Bagley Wood. Picture: OX66985 Simon Williams

First published in News Bicester Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

ARTISTS came out in force over the Bank Holiday weekend to mark the start of Artweeks.

They were celebrating the best of South Oxfordshire as part of the county-wide event which began on Friday and ends on May 26.

Penguins and chickens were the focus of Mo Sollis’ Art in the Barn exhibition in St Audries Cottage, Dry Sandford.

Bicester Advertiser:

  • Mo Sollis with one of her stoneware pieces
  • Picture: OX66987 Greg Blatchford

The 55 year-old artist has worked in ceramics for 20 years and this is the ninth year she has participated in the annual art festival.

She said: “Artweeks is a lot of hardwork, especially running a group exhibition. But it is very rewarding and I think all the artists have enjoyed meeting the public and talking to them.”

You can see what she has to offer from 11am to 6pm on Thursday until Sunday.

Philip Koomen from Burcot and a team spent 2,000 hours designing the new choir stalls for Dorchester Abbey in 2012. And the craftsman, who uses locally sourced wood for his furniture, is taking part in this month’s open art studios festival.

Mr Koomen said: “They were made out of Oxfordshire oak and they incorporated a series of designs inspired by the abbey.”

You can see him in action this Saturday and Sunday at Wheelers Barn, Checkendon, from 11am to 4pm.

Teacher Grant Waters, 49, has displayed 10 paintings of cage fights at the South Moreton Boxing club in his exhibition called Welcome to the Cage.

Bicester Advertiser:

  • Grant Waters and his seven-year-old son Joshua strike a karate pose
  • Picture: OX66993 Simon Williams

The father-of-two said: “It is based on mixed martial arts or cage-fighting. The fights make a great subject. It is the human form in action.”

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You can see the exhibition at Unit 8, Hall Farm, South Moreton on Friday to Sunday from noon until 9pm.

Photographer Sylwia Presley, 36, has rediscovered hidden gems around Wantage and captured them on her camera as part of a new community project.

Bicester Advertiser:

  • Wantage photographer Sylwia Presley with one of her pictures
  • Picture: OX66982 David Fleming

Wantage Tales, which will be launched this year, combines stories with images of the market town. See her pictures tomorrow until Sunday at 2 Priory Road, The Stables, Wantage between noon and 6pm.

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