Ox Trail 2024

We are proud to be sponsoring Oxford’s most colourful event of 2024!

An art trail unlike anything Oxfordshire has seen before has come to our city. OxTrail is a fun and free trail of life-sized (and mini!) oxen that have taken over Oxfordshire for the summer.

This family-friendly adventure is open to all - whether you’re a life-long local or a new visitor to the city. Running from 6th July until September, follow the trail of uniquely painted sculptures across the city by downloading the app. Full details of the art trail can be found here.

You can also take part in our exciting prize draw to win a £100 John Lewis voucher. Find out more here.

The funds raised throughout the trail (and from the auction of oxen in September) will help to fund the life-enhancing care that Sobell House Hospice provides. You can read more about our involvement and the talented artist that painted our ox below.
Proudly supporting Ox Trail 2024 with Sobell House Hospice

Once Upon a Dreaming Spire

Once Upon a Dreaming Spire

Our life-sized ox was designed by a talented young local artist My art teacher made me aware of Ox Trail and encouraged me to submit an ox design for the ‘art selection’ process. At that point I was in the midst of mock examinations, and I think the time pressure helped me because it meant I kept the design simple, but impactful.

My design is inspired by Oxford’s distinctive architecture against the colours of a beautiful sunset, and I added a wavy element to represent the Thames running through the city. I love reading, so I named my design Once Upon A Dreaming Spire based on a Matthew Arnold poem.

I was so happy when I heard that my design had been chosen, but then the nerves kicked in; I had never painted a sculpture before, let alone a large ox! Converting a 2D watercolour drawing to a large-scale 3D sculpture was a different kind of challenge and I couldn’t have done this without the support of the other artists (in particular my amazing artist mentor) and the encouragement of my incredible art teacher.

In total, it took about 20 hours to paint the ox and I spent a lot of time getting the skyline right before painting it freehand. It was certainly a test to fit this around GCSE preparation, but I absolutely love painting and once I started it became a lot less daunting. I’m really pleased with the result, and I hope people enjoy seeing my ox as they complete the trail. I will definitely be visiting the trail over the summer and will rope in my extended family and friends too!