From 2001-2005, Fusion Arts worked with local artists to develop unique public artwork for the Cowley Road. Commissioned as part of the InSite project, Pavement Jewellery was a series of fifty-eight bronze ingots, designed and laid into the pavement in front of individual shops and landmarks on Cowley Road. The series was launched on 18th November 2005 by the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Robert Price.
Still visible on the Cowley Road today, Pavement Jewellery was originally created as a permanent puzzle, intended to encourage dialogue between members of the local community. Each ingot was created in a pair – people within the local community and across Oxford were invited to participate in uncovering a hidden quote connecting the individual pieces that held special significance to the area.
We were pleased to award Ian Balmer of Oxford the prize-winning Bronze Ingot for being the first to solve the Pavement Jewellery puzzle. Mr. Balmer said: “I will give the ingot to my daughter, it’s part of our history.”
Local artist Liam Curtin worked with Katy Beinart, Emily Fuller, Helen McKeith, Gerard Hanson, Emma Reynard, and Jane Walton to produce the impressive series.
This commission formed part of the InSite participatory public art commissions run by Fusion, and was the fifth commission completed as part of a community-led public arts programme in East Oxford that aimed to establish the central role of the arts in the long term regeneration of the area.
The work involved a range of imaginative approaches to find unique titbits of knowledge, diverse personal and social histories, odd facts, and evolutions. These were creatively rendered into iconic images about the road’s history and character.
The ingots themselves reflect the unique history and evolution of the road: a time capsule for the collective knowledge of the local community for future generations.