A ten-year-old boy, a self-taught member of Oxford Art Society and a queer illustrator are amongst the winners of Oxford City Council’s May Morning art competition.

The winners saw their designs on proud display on Magdalen Bridge as part of the May Morning celebrations. Approximately 12,500 attended May Morning and had the opportunity to see the artworks.

The competition tasked people with creating art that showcased the hidden gems of the city and the diversity of Oxford’s communities.

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Jo Draper’s artwork was created with the help of her ten-year-old son Dylan. Their painting depicts elements of Oxford’s heritage that are not on the main tourist trail, including John Radcliffe Hospital and the wooden hand sculpture in Oxpens Meadow.

She said: “My ten-year-old son Dylan helped with the painting – he’s a very keen and talented artist.

Oxford Mail:

“The picture represents something of the city’s incredible dedicated and pioneering community. The child represents community and Oxford’s emphasis on families, as well as the importance for future generations in the city’s carbon goals to create a cleaner and greener environment.

“The painting also incorporates nods to less well known parts of Oxford’s history, the brick terraces. In East Oxford in particular, this provided affordable housing in the ensuing years as people came to the UK and to Oxford to work – a number of them in the Morris factory.”

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Gerry Coles is a largely self-taught member of Oxford Art Society and teaches linocut printmaking at her studio near Thame. She exhibits and sells her work online and at local exhibitions throughout South Oxfordshire, including Thame Art Crawl and Oxfordshire Artweeks.

Her winning design depicts the complex roof structure of Oxford’s Covered Market.

Oxford Mail:

She said: “I was inspired to create this as the Covered Market is one of my favourite places in Oxford. The lanterns and roof structure are works of art in their own right.”

Jason Kattenhorn is a freelance queer illustrator from the UK. Jason’s work celebrates his favourite places to visit in Oxford, as well as exploring some of its history and its people. 

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Oxford Mail:

Mr Kattenhorn said: “My illustration work usually depicts those LGBTQ+ bodies we are told to hide. I love to explore queer intimacy in all its forms because queer bodies are awesome; they are resilient, and they are beautiful. 

“There is a rich thread of diverse LGBTQ+ stories and faces in Oxford and I wanted the work to represent a small section of that community somehow. 

“I am ecstatic that the work I created has been selected and I can’t wait for someone to see the artwork and possibly feel represented and see something of themselves in the artwork”.

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