Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community


By Alex Jones (b.1966) 
Sculpture of a swallowtail butterfly carved from lime wood, inlaid with oak, with maple and oak scales.
457.2cm x 280cm x 213.36cm.
Created between 2012-2015 in collaboration with the students of Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill

About the sculpture ‘Transformed’

The sculpture ‘Transformed’ was created by the sculptor Alex Jones between 2012–2015. It is a large scale representation of a swallowtail butterfly created using lime, oak and maple. The Academy commissioned Alex to work with students from the Academy in 2011 to come up with an idea for a work of art that is based upon our values. These values are:

  • A passion to include everyone
  • A desire to treat everyone equally, respecting differences
  • A commitment to healthy and open relationships
  • A deep sense of hope that things can change and be transformed
  • A sense of perseverance to keep going for the long haul

Alex and the students decided that they wanted to focus on ‘a deep sense of hope that things can change and be transformed’. Given Alex’s love of nature and the world of insects, it was clear very early on that a butterfly was likely to emerge. The butterfly is the perfect symbol of transformation and this speaks very clearly to our belief in young people and their ability to change, to emerge from the past into a brighter future.

About the Swallowtail Butterfly

The Swallowtail is our largest native butterfly, and also one of our rarest. This spectacular insect is our only resident butterfly of the Papilionidae family, which is one of the largest butterfly families in the world. The British race is the subspecies britannicus which is confined to the fens of the Norfolk Broads in East Norfolk. This is partly due to the distribution of the sole larval foodplant, Milk-parsley. Seeing the adult butterflies flying powerfully over the Norfolk Broads is a sight to behold, and one near the top of the list of most British butterfly-watchers.

In some years, there are reports of the gorganus subspecies arriving from the continent. This subspecies is less fussy and will use many kinds of Umbellifer, such as Wild Carrot, as the larval foodplant. 2013 was an exceptional year for this subspecies, with sightings from 13 sites across Hampshire, Sussex and Kent, and a single site in Buckinghamshire. These sightings included evidence of egg-laying and the resulting larvae and pupae have been followed through to spring 2014. On April 14th 2014 a single continental Swallowtail was seen and photographed at the Magdalen Hill Down Butterfly Conservation reserve near Winchester in Hampshire.

About the sculptor

Alex Jones (British, b. 1966) is a traditionally trained wood sculptor who uses these time-honoured skills to create powerful original contemporary sculptures. After graduating from City & Guilds Art College in London in 1991, Jones spent a year as apprentice to Peter Turing, a wood carver in West Sussex. He has been based in Winchester since 1992 working mainly on private commissions and public exhibitions using his work to challenge people’s perceptions about the natural world around them. Many of his most compelling sculptures are large-scale pieces, such as a pair of 2 ½ ft Wasps (Durrell, Jersey), an 8ft Golden Haired Long Horn Beetle (Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall) and a Butterfly with a 15ft wingspan carved for Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill). Jones draws his inspiration from many sources including the figurative beauty of Grinling Gibbons, the humour of the medieval misère chords to the otherworldliness of Jeff Koons.

Since 1992 Jones has created a number of sculptures for a diverse range of public clients including the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the White House Private Members’ Club, Twyford Church, South Harting Primary School and King Edward VI School Southampton (coats of arms). Jones’s many unique private commissions include a bronze chameleon, a 7ft dandelion in aluminium resin, silver gilded prawns, an intricate dragon in natural wood and a full size portrait of a man.