The Wychwoods have a new sculpture in its midst. Commissioned by the Shipton Parish Council as part of the planning consent for the new Deanfield Grange estate, artist and sculptor Christopher Townsend created the piece. It sits at the entrance to the estate which adjoins the school. While it hasn’t been formally named yet, Christopher refers to the sculpture as the Giant Wychwood Oak.
A galvanised mild steel tree on a corten (weathering) steel background, the piece represents the beauty of the Wychwoods. He chose these materials because of the colour contrast between the two metals as well as the way these materials blend in with the colour of the beech hedge behind it.
Christopher designed the tree so the community can interact with it. Instead of having a name plaque attached to the sculpture, there is a leaf with his name on it which the primary school children have enjoyed moving around the tree. In the future, he would like to see lighting included to highlight the tree at night.
When asked what the tree means to him, he said, “My family has a long history of building in the Wychwoods. My grandfather built and my father, an architect, designed many of the houses in the area. It’s nice that I can build something here as well. I grew up in Milton and went to the primary school. I’m really happy to have one of my pieces in the heart of where I’m from.”
Valerie Carter Shortman
December 2021 – January 2022