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Exploring the contemporary side of Oxford with local schools


“Oxford still remains the most beautiful thing in England, and nowhere else are life and art so exquisitely blended, so perfectly made one.” – Oscar Wilde

Throughout the ages, the city of Oxford has been given various real life and fictitious personalities, perhaps most noticeably by literary figures. But how have Oxford’s young creatives represented contemporary life in their city? Find out with these exciting short films, created by students from local schools as part of this year’s City as Studio: Moving Image project with Modern Art Oxford. The student’s finished film shorts in the below showreel were designed by the project’s Lead Artist, Kate Mahony.

Discover more about City as Studio: Moving Image here.

Read more about Creative Learning at Modern Art Oxford here.

The making of Kiki Smith: I am a Wanderer – Time lapse


Led by our Production Manager, Scot Blyth, the Modern Art Oxford production team recently installed 12 large-scale tapestries, 28 small sculptures, 21 photographs and 60 print works for Kiki Smith’s exhibition.

Discover more about what goes into the making of our exhibitions with this latest time lapse film, shot during the installation of Kiki Smith: I am a Wanderer.

Read more about Kiki Smith: I am a Wanderer here.

Discover more videos by Modern Art Oxford on our YouTube channel.

City as Studio: Moving Image Showreel


City as Studio: Moving Image is Modern Art Oxford’s second annual project with schools, focusing on exploring the city through digital moving image.

Led by artist Kate Mahony, students from Oxford Spires Academy, Cheney School, Oxford Sixth Form College and City College worked in groups to create short art films which look beyond surface impressions of Oxford to portray experiences of real life in the city streets.

A-level student Phoebe, who took part in the project, reflected; “It was such a good opportunity for us to work alongside Modern Art Oxford and take time to really explore the alternative aesthetic of the city through the eyes of young contemporaries like us .. We had lessons with Modern Art Oxford teaching us the ways of filming and editing, along with musical input, to help prepare for our final film … The process was challenging but lots of fun!” 

We are thrilled to share the student’s finished film shorts in the below video showreel.

Read more about City as Studio: Moving Image here.

Activating our Archives: ‘catching’ memories with the local community


Modern Art Oxford’s Activating Our Archives project involved local people creating an online archive of imagery to represent Oxford’s different community groups. Inspired by the concurrent exhibition by Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari and led by local artist Sunil Shah, 18 project participants met weekly to share memories and imagery from their heritage and everyday lives. These were then collected and shared online via social media and in a remarkable digital archive. Learn more:

Fragments from a Shared Archive


Inspired by Akram Zaatari’s exhibition The Script, Activating our Archives is a group project led by artist Sunil Shah which uses photography and curation to bring together a community of people from across Oxford to build an online archive of images that reflect on and explore their own lives.

This video displays a selection of the finished archive which can also be viewed through the Instagram hashtag #activatingourarchives.

The archive reflects and expresses aspects of our lives that we consider as private, public, individual and collective. It explores how images are used online and how we represent ourselves online through social media.

Penny Woolcock: In Conversation


On November 22nd November Penny Woolcock was joined by Modern Art Oxford’s Head of Programme and Chief Curator Emma Ridgway for an in-depth discussion about the themes and inspirations behind Woolcock’s four-decade long practice and her Modern Art Oxford exhibition Fantastic Cities (17 November 2018 – 3 March 2019).

As one of the UK’s most groundbreaking visual artists, Woolcock’s career spans film, opera and television and she is widely celebrated for her intimate and uncompromising portrayals of social inequality in cities.