Oxford North appoints Contemporary Art Society Consultancy to deliver exemplary public art programme

Oxford North appoints Contemporary Art Society Consultancy to deliver exemplary public art programme

View across Oxford North's new central park

Contemporary Art Society Consultancy (CAS Consultancy) has been appointed as Oxford North’s public art consultancy to deliver its public arts programme for Oxford’s new innovation district.

CAS Consultancy will manage a high-profile public art programme which is built into Oxford North’s delivery and will work with development partners Thomas White Oxford, Cadillac Fairview, Stanhope and The Hill Group, and leading cultural organisations within Oxford.

Through a Public Art Steering Group, they will work with local stakeholders, residents and life sciences professionals to maximise the resonance and potential reach of public artworks. The programme will emphasise Oxford North’s character as a new place for discovery for ground-breaking work in science, health, wellbeing and innovation.

CAS Consultancy will carry out research to identify opportunities for an outstanding public art offer, crafting carefully considered briefs to be shared with selected artists through different phases of the project.

The resulting commissions will be high-quality and varied and include permanent public art installations, temporary public art activities and events such as performances, exhibitions, films, publications and conferences.

The Oxford North public art and cultural scheme will support Oxford City Council’s Culture Strategy principle that “creating more quality cultural experiences for more people, more often can play a vital role in regenerating communities and sustaining the city’s economy.”

Jordan Kaplan, CAS Consultancy said: “What excites us about working on this project is that Oxford North has a genuine commitment to modes of sustainable working and living, greening agendas and ecological support threaded through its public, green space and buildings, which will bring people closer to nature and each other.

“We will identify opportunities to deliver exemplary public art that engages communities, architecture, landscape and urban design, which will shape the experience of Oxford North as a place of creativity and innovation that offers a high quality of life.

“For our clients and us it is about ensuring that Oxford North enables vital life sciences research and a context in which science and the creative arts will collide and collaborate.”

There are four principles that will guide the project: people first; championing sustainability, equity and diversity; defining a City of Oxford Cultural Gateway; and practical implementation.

A public art steering group will include the development partner team, architect and landscape architect, and representatives which include an Oxford-based scientist, key stakeholder, young person, local resident, and cultural organisation.

The group’s remit will include:

  • offer advice in the process of creating a long list of artists
  • contribute to and review the artist brief/s
  • advise the client team on artist shortlists
  • support and advise on aspects of each delivery plan implementation
  • support ongoing connectivity with established surrounding communities
  • safeguard the quality and integrity of the commissioned artworks
  • support an equality of opportunity approach to all commissioning.

The meetings will take place three to four times a year. More frequent meetings may be required to support artist appointments.

Victoria Collett, development director, Thomas White Oxford said: “We are looking to ensure our strategy defines the ambition that public art should contribute to the delivery of Oxford City Council’s priorities. In particular it’s about supporting the delivery of a vibrant, sustainable economy and strong, active communities which will help to generate pride in this new place.

“We aim to create a sense of ownership and contribute to resident wellbeing through the delivery of distinctive, high quality public realm, providing benefit to existing and future Oxford residents and visitors. We are delighted to have CAS Consultancy on-board and look forward to working with the steering group.”

David Camp, chief executive officer, Stanhope plc added: “Our experience of public art across our many projects is that by integrating art into the urban fabric, it enhances the place, encourages social interaction, inspires individuals, aids in navigation, and positively impacts the economic vitality of a city. We have worked with CAS Consultancy before on our White City Place and Angel Court projects in London and are excited to see how their work positively impacts this significant project and area.”

CAS Consultancy has delivered art in public across the UK, from their work with Gillian Wearing at Parliament Square for the Mayor’s Office, to one of the first temporary commissions programmes for the Economist Plaza. They have partnered with the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics and Political Science to deliver their public art programmes and commissioned public works for the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Their clients have included local authorities, private developers and charities.

Find out more here: https://www.oxfordnorth.com/news/oxford-north-appoints-contemporary-art-society-consultancy-to-deliver-exemplary-public-art-programme/