A STRIKING sculpture that claims to be the largest in the city has been installed in Headington.

Towering above the ground outside an Oxford University research centre, the scarlet 'Origin' sculpture is already turning heads with its angular shape and mishmash of metallic blocks.

The university commissioned the public art piece outside the Li Ka Shing Centre for Health, Information and Discovery, and unanimously favoured a design submitted by sculptor Julian Wild.

Mr Wild, who lives in Sussex, said: "The inspiration was the ground-breaking work that takes place at the centre, in which huge volumes of genetic data are stored, analysed and used to define disease more accurately and identify targets for novel drug therapies. The title of the sculpture alludes to the importance of the small inception point from which monumental ideas can grow."

He said Origin is the largest public sculpture in Oxford, measuring 12 metres wide and five and a half metres tall.

It was funded by Hong Kong multi-billionaire and philanthropist Li Ka Shing and was installed at the weekend at the university's Old Road campus.

Mr Wild, who is vice president of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, added: "The artwork creates a pathway that leads visitors through the site.

"Walking beneath the sculpture, viewers are struck by its scale; two counterbalanced halves, painted a visceral red, rise on either side and almost meet in the middle overhead.

"At this centre the forms break down into a pixelated network of rectangular blocks, revealing its polished stainless steel core."

He said at certain points the steel blocks appear to 'pixelate' in front of the eyes.