A LARGER-than-life sculpture over a year in the making is going on display in a village near Abingdon.

It has been created by local artist Beatrice Hoffman, who will be opening her Garford studio later this month for the third year running.

The sculptor and tutor will be showcasing work by herself and around 40 students, who are spread across a range of ages and abilities.

Among the pieces will be a double figure called ‘Walking Forwards’, which is in the process of being finished following a lengthy construction process.

Set to be installed in September outside a hospital, which Miss Hoffman said cannot yet be named but is outside the county, the piece has taken 15 months to reach its current clay stage and within the next month will be cast in bronze.

Miss Hoffman is hoping she will be able to also display the work closer to home and said a second cast could be on short term exhibition at local Oxford public places.

She said: "It can be incredibly expensive to commission artwork but with the cast already made it is great opportunity for the piece to been seen in more than one location."

Explaining the message she wanted to convey in the sculpture, she added: “The sculpture describes a caring and supportive relationship, the kind of human contact we are dependent on when entering a hospital.

“This dynamic sculpture expresses the strong bonds of friendship, and the commitment and energy necessary for helping, supporting or enabling someone else.”

The sculpture is made from clay, built upon an expandable foam layer, which in turn is bulking up a steel structure with chicken wire.

A professional caster will make a rubber-and-resin mould on site, and then make a bronze-resin cast from it in his workshop, to be delivered to the hospital site.

The studio, at Lime Tree Cottage, will be open from May 25 until May 28.

It is part of this year’s Oxfordshire Artweeks, which is celebrating creativity throughout the county from May 5 to 28.

Miss Hoffman's work, which is influenced by African carvings and Picasso, is also currently on display at Blackwell's Art and Poster Shop in Oxford throughout May.

Anyone interested in displaying the piece locally can contact Miss Hoffman via beatricehoffman@gmail.com. For full opening times visit beatricehoffman.co.uk