Photographers give it their best shot to win

Oxford Mail: Organisers Chris Teasdale and Jan Williams Organisers Chris Teasdale and Jan Williams

Pictures of Oxford usually involve dreaming spires, punts on winding rivers and bicycles chained to fences.

But these are the pictures of Oxford as it really is, beyond the boffins, bicyles and Brideshead.

The four images pictured right were all taken by people who live in the city and feature in a new exhibition in Arts at the Old Fire Station in Gloucester Green.

It aims to bring the city to life with these four images being judged the best entries to the Here and Now exhibition.

The images depict graffiti on a bridge being passed by rowers, a butcher in his shop, traffic cones in a river and an odd Oxford meeting on a punt.

One of the winning photographs – of a butcher in the Covered Market – was by Ben Mostyn, 28, from Grandpont. He worked as a freelance photographer for the Oxford Mail.

He said: “I had been away from Oxford for a while living in the States with my wife, but I am an Oxford local who was born here.

“I was trying to re-experience Oxford and get to meet some of the locals and reacquaint myself with it because it had been such a long time since I had been here.”

Jan Williams, from the Caravan Gallery, which helped organise the competition, said: “These pictures look absolutely fantastic.

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“It was great to see Oxford from people who live here and what they like and dislike about their home city.

“We also have some pictures taken by the Redbridge travelling community and they offer a real insight. Other pictures come from people at the Skylight Crisis centre so you’re really seeing Oxford from all different angles.”

The exhibition also features a blank wall, which is available for members of the public to come along and paste their own pictures, confessions and memories.

Old Fire Station director of arts Jeremy Spafford said: “We are delighted to be presenting these extraordinary photos of ordinary Oxford which have been taken by residents of the city including travellers and homeless people.

“This is excellent accessible art at its best celebrating the lived-in much-loved Oxford.”

The project was also created in conjunction with Oxfordshire Artweeks, the O3 Gallery, Oxford Castle Quarter, Crisis Skylight and Grandpont Children’s Centre. It opened on Friday and runs until Saturday, May 26.

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