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Prized possessions are put in the frame
Buy this photo » Danny Smith in front of his portrait. Picture: OX57734 Jon Lewis
PEOPLE in Cowley have been smiling for the camera with their prized possessions for a community art project.
Photographer Giles Davies took photos of about 70 volunteers.
Now a series of poster portraits are being displayed on yellow boards surrounding the site of the former community centre in Barns Road, Cowley.
Mr Davies came up with the idea for the series of portraits as he is a resident artist at the Ark T arts centre in Crowell Road.
One of the photographer’s subjects was Marilyn Ching, 62, from Summertown, who was pictured with a model of a Siamese cat.
Ms Ching, a retired personal assistant for Oxfam’s communications department, said: “I bought this on a school trip when I was eight and gave it to my mum, Hilda McNaughton, as a present.
“She died 10 years ago and when we were clearing out the house I took this back and now I keep it by my phone.
“It’s not very valuable but it’s got sentimental value because it reminds me of my mum.
“The family home was in Temple Road, Cowley, and I think this is an interesting community project.”
John Stone, 82, from Cowley, has been collecting keys for the past 40 years. He was pictured with a bunch of keys, including a 14-inch key once used for a church door.
Mr Stone added: “I have been studying keys for about 40 years so I’m on the poster with some keys from my collection. I had my photo taken last year and I’m chuffed to see that it has just been put up.”
Danny Smith, 38, from Cowley, is another one of the artist’s subjects. He was pictured with his favourite model snake. He said: “I went to Egypt about five years ago and there were some shops which I bought the snake from. It is one of my favourite possessions.”
Father-of-one Mr Davies, 46, from Marston, who has a studio at the Ark T Centre, said: “About 70 people had their portraits taken and 29 are on display.
“Lots of people had interesting stories to tell about their favourite possessions and I’m hoping the portraits will stay in place until October.”
Mr Davies is appealing for more people to come forward and have their photos taken. He said: “More posters will go up if there is enough funding available from the developers. But if not, then I will perhaps stage an exhibition at a later date or maybe even put together a book.”
Developers Haboakus are building 40 flats on the site of the former community centre and have supported the Cowley Portrait project. The development is backed by Kevin McCloud, presenter of TV show Grand Designs.
- For more information, email http://giles.arkt @gmail.com
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