Artist's description:

Everyone knows that Oxford is the 'city of dreaming spires' even if they don't know who said it, or why, or what the hell it means. (It crops up in British poet Matthew Arnold's poem 'Thyrsis' when he describes the view of Oxford from Boars Hill - 'And that sweet city with her dreaming spires/ She needs not June for beauty’s heightening.'). I don't suppose Arnold knew at the time that his line would become immortalised, and, more importantly, that when I was looking around for six slightly querky images of Oxford to make into posters, his line was lodged somewhere in my tiny cerebellum. And the most famous spire in Oxford is obviously the Headington Shark. Created by sculptor John Buckley, for homeowner Bill Heine, the shark landed on earth on August 9, 1986 to celebrate the 41st anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Nagasaki. Why Bill wanted to celebrate this weird and inauspicious occasion is a mystery, but he insists a shark sticking out of a roof says 'something about CND, nuclear power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki'. Made of painted fibreglass nearly 8 metres long, and weighing in at 200 kg, the jobsworths in Oxford City Council planning department were none too overjoyed at the shark's appearance and tried desperately to get it taken down. The case went right up to the Dept. of the Environment who ruled in 1992 that it 'did not result in harm to the visual amenity' and now the Headington Shark is a tourist attraction, up there, almost, with the Blackpool Tower and the leaning tower of Pisa.

Materials used:


The Headington Shark (2016)


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This artwork is sold by Steve White from Netherlands

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