Read statement below, or download/ print it here.
The Lockbund team in the gardens of Fishermans Cottage for the annual Christmas photo.
Stainless Steel casting 'Cretaceous Ammonite' by Hamish Mackie, cast at Lockbund Foundry.
Lockbund Foundry is one of the UK’s leading art foundries and has been operating in Cropredy since 1993. Established by artists Simon Allison and Jane Hamilton, who live and work on site, Lockbund is presently the most significant cultural employer in the area with 17 permanent members of staff. The foundry has a patronage of over 100 artists, ranging from world renowned sculptors such as Oxfordshire artists, James Butler RA and Hamish Mackie through to emerging early career sculptors, producing work for contemporary galleries across the UK. Sculptures cast at Lockbund Foundry are regularly exhibited in institutions such as The Royal Academy, Mall Galleries, Messums Gallery and The Royal West of England and are held in several permanent collections.
Oxfordshire Artweeks, group show, Lockbund Gallery .
Knock-out, Exhibition of works by Oliva Bax, end of residency show, Lockbund Gallery 2019.
Alongside edition casting Lockbund have been commissioned to cast many public monuments; HRH Queen Elizabeth II in Runnymeade, Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon, Merlin at Rolls-Royce in Filton, The Oaks Disaster Memorial in Barnsley amongst others. The most recent public artwork the foundry has produced is a monument celebrating the key workers of the Coronavirus pandemic which was unveiled in November 2021.
Lockbund Gallery held its first exhibition in the gardens of the premises in 1991. This began a programme of exhibitions showcasing the works of Simon and Jane alongside other local artists and later including foundry clients in solo shows and annually in Oxfordshire Art Weeks. The Gallery has created a thriving collaborative relationship with local, regional and international artists and galleries and has become a space to access contemporary art in a rural setting.
The Gallery also hosts artist in residency programmes, supporting early career artists through the process of making work from concept and material experimentation, to production and casting with realised works shown in exhibitions held in the studio gallery. Parallel to this the gallery and foundry have also supported work experience placements from several local schools (Chenderit, Warriner, NOA, Chipping Norton, Magdalen, Oxford & Cherwell Valley College) allowing students to have a placement in the studio/ foundry with a view to exploring their artistic capabilities and fostering an interest in creative careers.
Artist Andrea Crociani, working in the gallery during his artist residency, Lockbund Gallery.
Emily Stollery, experimenting with materials during her Lockbund Gallery artist residency.
Lockbund’s hope is to grow its exhibition and community engagement capacity through the conversion of an unused premises into an environmentally considered exhibition and workshop facility - to be known as The Far Far Gallery. The current studio gallery, in its domestic setting, can no longer accommodate the aspirations for the programme. The new space on Oxhey Hill allows for the continued growth of provision for both employment opportunities and public access. Located on the outskirts of the village this site has been chosen for its proximity to Lockbund Foundry and the studio gallery and for the opportunity it presents for re-wilding the surrounding five acres of land.
The Far Far Gallery conversion will allow the current programme to reach the wider community, offering residents, local and county wide, access to a dynamic program of regular exhibitions, residencies and educational workshops. It is critically important to Simon and Jane, who have lived and worked in Cropredy for 30 years, that this project be realised in Cropredy and that the close relationship to the foundry and village is maintained. The premises on Oxhey Hill is the first of its kind available in the village for over 10 years and provides a unique opportunity to realise the full potential of the gallery.
A view through the gallery, Installation views, Oxfordshire Artweeks group show.
Installation of works by Foundry/ Gallery Owner, Artist Simon Allison.
The space gained by the conversion will allow for further engagement with local schools, learning about the recent history of contemporary art through its core collection and discovering new contemporary artists. A dedicated arts education officer will begin a dialogue with local primary and secondary schools, supporting their curriculum and allowing children to experience art in a way that is not accessible in urban institutions.
The Far Far Gallery is the natural evolution of Lockbund’s vertically integrated arts organisation, a space that will showcase the full spectrum of artistic production, distribution and engagement. A public, free to access, creativity and wellness venue hoping to inspire and nurture artistic conversations and pursuits for our Locality.