Pingle Brook 2012/13
Location : Kingsmere, Bicester, Oxfordshire
Materials : Green & Air Dried European Oak
Commissioned by: Cherwell District Council & Countryside Properties Ltd

Funding : Countryside Properties Ltd

Pingle Brook Artwork Background

A series of nine sculptural benches in green and air dried European oak have now been installed at the Pingle Brook area of the larger Kingsmere development on the south west outskirts of Bicester.

I spent some time researching the history and usage of the site, which was previously part of Whitelands Farm. I also undertook extensive research into ecological surveys of the site, gaining inspiration for the designs from the flora and fauna found there.

For example, one seat Tryst is based on an ancient Elm tree which was once situated close by – a known place where lovers would meet. The seat design references the elm seed and arcing forms - perhaps figures, or phases of the crescent moon? Another work, Polyommatus icarus references the Common Blue butterfly recorded at that particular location during the ecological survey. A third seat Lathyrus pratensis references the Meadow Vetchling, which was recorded at the site of the seat. Another seat White Cross is situated at a junction along the main right of way between the two parish churches of Bicester (St Edburg’s) and Chesterton (St Mary’s). White Cross also serves as a waymarker. The seat backrest is based on a gothic arch containing a cross. There was a ‘White Cross’ situated on this parcel of land in the middle ages, to which friars from the nearby priory would walk. The central seat on the site is situated between, and overlooks both ponds. This piece is called Vita nova (New Life) and makes reference to all new aspects of the site establishing themselves – the community and the wildlife. Other seats reference the Long Eared bat Plecotus auritus, found in the copse, and Water Forget-me-not Myosotis scorpiodes, and Branched burr Reed Sparganium erectum found in Pingle Brook.

It is hoped that once the site has been handed over to Cherwell District Council a number of native oak trees will be planted on or near the site as a gesture of reciprocity and acknowledgement of the oak trees used in the making these seats. There are also discussions regarding an interpretation panel explaining the background and thinking behind the project.

Festuca ovina


Sparganium erectum


Plecotus auritus



Lathyrus pratensis


Polyomatus icarus


Myosotis scorpiodes


Vita nova


White Cross