"This magnificent shark sculpture is installed through the roof of an otherwise unremarkable terraced house, so I manipulated it to bring out the blue with its association of the sea." J J Marshall
URBANPIX CAPTION for this Oxford card:
The Headington Shark, sculpted by John Buckley, was craned into position through the roof of a Victorian terrace house in this otherwise architecturally conservative Oxford suburb, on 9th August 1986. The date was chosen with reason: it was the 41st anniversary of dropping the atom bomb on Nagasaki.
The sculptor’s inspiration came from a combination of sketches done of sharks ‘leaving their watery depth and cruising the landscape like predatory missiles’ and ‘planes taking off from Upper Heyford and dropping their load from the clear blue skies of Libya’.
The Shark sculpture was commissioned by Bill Heine who owns the house it is on. Retrospective planning permission was initially refused and an appeal made to the Secretary of State for the Environment who ruled: ‘any system of control must make some small space for the dynamic, the unexpected, the downright quirky’ and so the sculpture has remained.