Reading Hug

The Reading Hug project will work with series of figures, some hugging, to show inclusivity and also highlight how important community is – especially since covid has reminded people how much people need people. There may be a table where you can sit at with them, a tree with figures climbing and figures below hugging.

These early stage suggestions (and the mock up examples shown above) will be developed with the Children from Oxford Rd primary school. The children be involved from the outset in the finished commission, to create stronger ties between the community, the developers and to leave a legacy.

During the series of workshops, run by Hood and Streatfield, the children will make and design the figures in miniature. The best ones that represent the Oxford Rd will be chosen to be made into the final design.

The final art work will be developed and designed under the expertise of Mattes and Miniatures and they will lead and manage this part of the design with input from Streatfield and Hood. Dick Budden will offer in kind support.

Caroline Streatfield – Artist

Studio : Reading Space Studios, 571 Oxford Rd. Associate of OHOS. Caroline has lived in Reading since the age of 12. She has strong links with Reading and gained a BA (Hons) Art in the Community from Reading College (2002) and a MA in Painting (Wimbledon College of Art, 2019).

During her 20s (1990s) she lived off the Oxford Rd for 10 years. She has run workshops in the Reading community and taught in Reading for over 20 years, in New Directions and in Reading College.

Her mother came to the UK as an immigrant from Eastern Europe so she has an understanding of immigration and how it adds to society. She has delivered 2 successful projects along the Oxford Rd, The first the High Street Action Heritage Zone commission, ‘Recipes from my Ancestral Home’ 2021, the 2nd an Arts Council project ‘People of Oxford Rd’ 2021, to produce 5 portraits of shop keepers along the Oxford Rd and run 6 workshops.

Instagram  |  Facebook  |  Website

Leigh Took and Lauren Took – Artists (Mattes and Miniatures)

Leigh Took has lived in Reading since he was a child, attending Chiltern Edge School then Henley Grammar before being hired as an apprentice matte painter at Pinewood Studios in the 1970’s. Here Leigh trained in the art of matte painting on glass, combining his paintings with miniature model sets to create in-camera special effects on films such as ‘Warlords of Atlantis’ (1978) and Ray Harryhausen’s ‘Clash of the Titans’ (1981).

In 1991 Leigh began his now 30-years established company ‘Mattes & Miniatures Visual Effects Ltd’ based at Bray Studios in Windsor, servicing the Film & TV industries with miniature special effects, custom-built props and specialist sets, working with Directors such as Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton.

Over the last decade Took’s company has expanded into fabricating works for emerging and established artists, notably ‘The Four Seasons’ by Philip Haas, currently displayed at RHS Harlow Carr.

Took’s fabrications have been exhibited in The Dulwich Picture Gallery, Glasgow Museum of Modern Art and and over ten galleries and public spaces across America, including The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Modern Art, Kansas City. All works are built by a team of skilled craftspeople at the Mattes & Miniatures Visual Effects Ltd. workshop and studio now based in Holyport, Maidenhead, led by Leigh and his daughter Lauren, who also lives in Reading. They are both passionate about helping artists realise their visions and enabling creativity and culture in public spaces.

Instagram  |  Website

Dick Budden Artist

Dick Budden started freelancing for BBC Tv for classic shows such as Kenny Everett show, Dave Allen and Monty Pythons Flying Circus as well as the Film Industry for films including Alien, Empire Strikes Back, Superman, Company of Wolves, Phantom of the Opera and Sleepy Hollow. Although his commissions are mainly built in polystyrene his passion comes from wood carving which in turn led to discovering Bronze casting and foundries through which he met Kenneth Armitage. Using techniques learnt from the film industry, he enlarged three of Armitage’s maquette’s into huge public sculptures later to be cast into bronze.