Stunning artwork from OneOak offcuts

posted on October 25, 2011

Robin Wilson and Rosie Fairfax-Cholmeley of Flagstone Press have produced two stunning prints using small wooden offcuts from boards used by other craftspeople working with the OneOak tree.

Robin Wilson's carving "Great tit landing" in progress using wood from the OneOak tree

Robin Wilson's carving "Great tit landing" in progress using wood from the OneOak tree

In contrast to their usual carving of softer woods and lino board, Robin told us that the oak was difficult to work but I think you’ll agree that the results are wonderful.

Great tit landing by Robin Wilson

Great tit landing by Robin Wilson of Flagstone Press

The sow and the acorn by Rosie Fairfax-Cholmeley of Flagstone Press

The sow and the acorn by Rosie Fairfax-Cholmeley of Flagstone Press

Robin and Rosie are currently Artists in Residence at the University of Oxford’s Wytham Woods.



Category: Art, OneOak project

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OneOak tree planting timelapse

posted on June 28, 2011

We have published a timelapse film of the tree planting activities undertaken earlier this year in our OneOak project.  The pictures were taken over four months in the Blenheim woodland and start with the unveiling of the OneOak sculpture plus the first trees being planted on January 31st.  Also captured are the visits by 250 school children during February and March when every child planted an oak tree.

The new forest of 250 OneOak trees are protected by tree shelters and by April were surrounded by a carpet of bluebells.

Watch the film

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OneOak artist in residence Summer Schools

posted on June 9, 2011

OneOak watercolour artist in residence, Rebecca Hind, is holding  Summer Schools on 11-15 July and 18-22 July, based around our offices in Little Wittenham, Oxfordshire.

Suitable for beginners and experienced painters, these structured classes begin each day with demonstration and formal tuition, followed by one-to-one teaching with your chosen subject.  Tonality, colour, composition and perspective are covered along with the technical and practical aspects of mastering paint.

Week A: 11 – 15 July

with Rebecca Hind. Concentrating on the softer aspects of landscape, such as sky, water and foliage.

Week B: 18 – 22 July

with Rebecca Hind and Stuart Dawson. Dealing with all aspects of landscape including architecture.

The Summer School is based in a ground floor teaching room, in the beautiful Tower at the foot of Round Hill and next to the village church. All facilities are to hand but you will need to bring a packed lunch, and sturdy shoes.
£190 for a 5 day course, working Monday – Friday 10 – 5 pm.

Booking and all details on

Alongside other artists, Rebecca completed several watercolours for the OneOak project in 2009 and 2010 read more …

Category: Art, OneOak project

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OneOak sculpture arrives in Oxford

posted on April 27, 2011

OneOak sculpture in the woods April 2011

OneOak sculpture in the woods April 2011

The sculpture that has been designed to stand as a memorial to the OneOak tree (read more), sited on the tree’s stump in the Blenheim woodland, has been temporarily removed and taken to the centre of Oxford.  It now stands outside the entrance to the OneOak Exhibition, which is open at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden until end August.

OneOak sculpture at Oxford Botanic Garden

OneOak sculpture at the Exhibition entrance at Oxford Botanic Garden

Category: Art, News, OneOak project

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Artist talks about OneOak sculpture

posted on March 2, 2011
Simon Clements with the OneOak sculpture

Simon Clements with the OneOak sculpture. Photo Angus Beaton.

Sculptor Simon Clements has talked about the inspiration behind the OneOak sculpture, unveiled at the Blenheim Estate in January 2010.

After the OneOak tree was felled in 2010 I wanted to create a memorial, sited where it had grown for 222 years.  I took as my inspiration decaying churchyard stones, ancient weathered timbers, and age worn lettering.  I decided that the memorial should be enigmatic: I imagine a curious passer by stumbling across a moss covered carving, weathered with age and wondering why it was there.  In the same way that plaques attached to the voyager space probes carried a scientific description of our species and our planet, I wanted my carving to describe a little about the tree and how we have made use of it.

A bough from the tree was split and opened rather like a book. On the right-hand page is carved the description of the tree, on the left-side page a description of our interaction with it.  After the OneOak exhibitions are over the sculpture will return to the woodland to stand like a sentinel amidst a grove of oak saplings. As they grow, I hope the memorial will age with grace and become (for those lucky enough to discover it) a meditation of our cultural debt to trees, and allow quiet contemplation upon the aesthetics of decay.

Simon Clements, Sculptor 2011.

Simon’s sculpture is currently sited on the base of the OneOak tree in the woodland at Blenheim.  It will be removed temporarily so that it can be displayed at the various OneOak exhibitions that are planned for 2011 and 2012.  The first of these will be at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden from April.

Category: Art, OneOak project

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New ‘Wood’ music composed

posted on May 27, 2010

A second original piece of music, inspired by the OneOak project, is now available.

‘Wood’ is a personal response by musician and composer Faith Elliott to the work of her father, furniture designer Derek Elliott. A recent exhibition at which this piece was launched, included a display of boards from the OneOak tree. The music consists entirely of sounds made from wood, from working wood or from wooden musical instruments. Other musicians playing on the piece include Sam Alty and Jerome Warlow. Faith is currently the musical director of Giffords Circus.

Category: Art, OneOak project

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OneOak exhibition at Art, Design and a Taste of Summer: 29-31 May

posted on May 23, 2010
The new Sylva display centrepiece

The new Sylva display centrepiece

An exhibition on the OneOak project will be held this weekend, 29-31 May 2010, at the Art, Design and a Taste of Summer show at Blenheim Palace.

We will be showing some of the films we have had made about the project and will have staff from Sylva on hand to talk about the project and our wider work.  We will be joined by OneOak residential artists Sarah Simblet and Rebecca Hind, and by wood carvers from the Oxon & Bucks division of the British Woodcarvers Association.

We will also be launching our fantastic and unusual competition to guess the weight of the OneOak tree.  A raffle will be held with some great prizes.

To find out more about the show see Art, Design and a Taste of Summer.

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OneOak Trio music

posted on March 25, 2010

We are extremely privileged to have had an original piece of music composed for the OneOak project.

Anna Hemery composed the music and coined the name – the “OneOak Trio”.  The trio comprised violin and piano (Anna Hemery) and cello (played by husband Nick Cooper).

Anna has played with many leading orchestras and theatre companies in Britain and internationally.  She has composed and recorded sound tracks for film and television, and in popular music worked with Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.  She also teaches violin.

Nick Cooper’s career includes playing for the London Symphony Orchestra, Balanescu Quartet, Gavin Bryars Ensemble, Szlani Quartet. He has performed with jazz musicians including John Surman & Tran4mation, the late Michael Brecker, Michael Reissler, Kurt Elling and the Folk Fiddler Chris Wood.  He also works periodically at The National Theatre and for the Royal Shakespeare Company and has a number of solo cello credits for film and TV.

We will include the OneOak Trio music as the soundtrack to the film being produced by our volunteer team from the University of Oxford’s Film Unit.  The film will be released in April and available for download on our website.

The OneOak Trio music now plays for viewers of our homepage.

Category: Art, OneOak project

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Bladon Primary OneOak watercolour workshop

posted on March 17, 2010

Watercolour artist Rebecca Hind held a workshop with Years 3 and 4 at Bladon Primary School.  She showed the children the OneOak paintings that she has been working on over the last six months, and inspired them to produce their own under expert tuition.

Sam I know how to use watercolour paint now – I liked it.

Jacob, Louis and Jake M We learned to do watercolour paintings of trees in the moonlight. We used brown and blue paint and a big paintbrush called a mop.

Megan I thought it was very fun. I learned a lot about the moon. My whole class painted a tree of their own. I’d like to do my own because I have an idea – I can paint a fox in the moonlight.

Lily Now I know how to concentrate when painting and how to use watercolours. It was really fun because we all learnt about painting. I learnt how to do moons and when the moon is shining on something it has a shadow. My favourite moon was the wolf moon.

Euan I thought Rebecca was very good at painting with watercolours. I really liked her sketchbook of the moon and oak tree pictures. It was very fun, I think the whole class liked it as well. It got hard in some bits; it was hard not to scrub with the mop brush. I’d like her to come again soon. My favourite moon was the wolf moon.

Mia When Rebecca came she showed the year 3 and 4 how to do watercolour pictures. One of the brushes was called a mop.

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OneOak watercolours by Rebecca Hind

posted on March 10, 2010
Rebecca Hind working on OneOak art

Rebecca Hind working on her latest OneOak watercolour

Artist Rebecca Hind was first featured in October 2009 when we watched her working on watercolour sketches of the OneOak tree in the woodland – read here.

We visited her studio recently to see what progress she had made and were amazed that she has produced no less than five separate paintings.  Her beautiful watercolours feature the OneOak tree in various conditions and perfectly capture the seasonal changes in the woodland.

We are excited to be working with Rebecca to showcase her work in the OneOak project during various shows and exhibitions later this year.

Having gathered visual information about the OneOak in my sketches whilst it was still standing, I have now had time to start working those images into finished paintings. They represent the tree under various conditions of weather, light and season and show its various appearances in the changing forest. Next, I shall visit and paint the clearing as it grows from winter to spring and then summer, feeding on the increased light that floods the space in the absence of the OneOak’s canopy.”  Rebecca Hind, March 2010

Find out more about Rebecca’s work:

Category: Art, OneOak project

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