From tiny seeds do mighty apples grow...
Some things are worth waiting for and this is especially true of the Apple Seat; finally it is officially opened by The Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Sue Dobson.
Created by Planet Art – Julie Edwards and Ron Thompson – for Bloor Homes, the artwork is the culmination of multiple consultations and creative workshops. Started in 2019, in the time of Covid, the workshops were led by Julie and Ron via zoom, and included art classes for the Primary School, the local Arts Circle, and anyone else who wanted to book via Eventbrite. It was a fully on-line community engagement, until later in the year when face to face meetings were permitted.
The Apple Seat design was preferred by all stakeholders and the community and was voted for via Facebook as well as in person consultations.
The artworks include a series of plaques celebrating the varieties of apple developed by Seabrook’s Nurseries in Boreham and represent important aspects of the social history of the area. An apple tree was planted at the same time, a variety developed in Boreham called ‘Seabrook’s Red’. It produces delicious apples. The Green Team from the Primary School helped the Mayor plant the tree and the school choir entertained us with a delightful rendition of their school song.
Alison Turnbull commented that: “Public Art is often the one element of a new development that is unique, and specific to that place. The money allocated through the planning system cannot be spent on anything else and it must involve the work of professional artists. In this instance, Planet Art – Julie and Ron have successfully created a unique artwork which encapsulates the social history of Boreham, whilst contributing something beautiful and functional that adds that unique and special quality to the development. In this way public art becomes the treasured objects of the community that are properly public, works which are woven into the fabric of daily lives and which do not need to be visited in a gallery.”
The Boreham Apple for The Platinum Jubilee
is now installed. Photographed by Tracy Jenkins of Art Uk, delighted to see these works on their website too.
Half Moon Creative Arts, Planet Art, and the parish council are creating a new artwork and trail in Boreham. The sculpture is ready to be galvanised and then the race is on to add some painted highlights and install it in time for the Platinum Jubilee. No pressure!
Another Place Another Time
The pop up gallery in Chelmsford hosted our exhibition for two weeks in October. Another Place Another Time gave an opportunity for viewing of works by Julie Edwards and Ron Thompson. As PlanetArt, the majority of their work in recent years has been focussed on public art commissions. Their sculptural work is on permanent display both nationally and internationally. The opportunity to exhibit their individual works was welcomed.
Thompson’s work explores the sense of otherness and dislocation experienced during the pandemic.
Edwards quirky, dainty, sculptural pieces explore ideas about home and our roles in cohabiting.
In Search of Apples
One sunny day, in a field, in Boreham, there appeared a tent and two artists, and their son who came to help. They had with them a pile of wooden apples and lots of paint. As the people of Boreham started to arrive, the brushes and paints were put to good use decorating all the apples and the son, whose name was Albert, was put to work setting out the apples into the shape of a big apple. The artists were of course, Julie Edwards and Ron Thompson of PlanetArt, and the project was part of ongoing public artworks with the parish council and the community in Boreham.
Arts Event – Boreham Chelmsford
Planet Art bring an installation to the village – if you’re in the area, come along and meet us!
Installation day has finally arrived
Delighted to be writing the completion report for planning conditions relating to public art at St. Luke’s park. The project has had numerous delays but it’s been worth the wait. John Merrill has stretched the bounds of the possible with these works.
The series are a site specific response to the location pre-development. They are designed to evolve as the environment acts upon them and to reflect ideas about containment, growth and change over time. The natural forms beginning to burst out of their geometric boundaries.
Works in progress
The apple seat for Boreham was lucky enough to get into production earlier than expected – and who doesn’t love an image of factory interiors?
Masterclasses go online
Helena Roden is our first intrepid artist offering a series of Masterclasses on-line via zoom. Offered to one of our regular clients, the sessions are bringing a cultural aspect to shared lunchtimes for colleagues working from home. ‘Tiles of the Alhambra’ offers a mix of talk about art and architecture whilst learning how to create geometric patterns in the style of Islamic tiles.
Each participant receives a pack of all materials needed through the post. In this case, isometric, squared and tracing papers, a compass, ruler and coloured pencils.
The usual Masterclasses have been very successful and have been missed whilst home working has become the norm. It’s a great way for colleagues to get together remotely, to learn something new to enrich the working day.
Helena Roden is a talented artist who regularly teaches art to adults, as well as working on public art projects. Later in the year works created for Billingshurst will be installed – the sample board for this project is illustrated in the portfolio.
If your company would like to experience a ‘masterclass at lunch’, or find out more about the offer, please do get in touch here.
Artist Brief ‘let’s speak of apples, round and red, juice-green‘
Location: Boreham, Chelmsford
The commission ‘Let’s speak of apples…’ has now been awarded to Julie Edwards and Ron Thompson of ‘Planet Art’. It’s been a pleasure looking through the c.v’s and portfolio’s of so many talented artists; it was a difficult decision.
Boreham has a long history of habitation, from a small village in ancient times, attracting more residents as opportunities grew to work in the market gardens and orchards. The Seabrook family were instrumental in the cultivation of fruit trees exporting them internationally from their base in Boreham and the new residential development is adjacent to one of the original orchard locations. The town became an important staging post along the main road with the three pubs, The Cock, Six Bells and The Red Lion (now The Lion). Labour requirements changed again with the building of the East Counties Railway and the improved transport links brought new economies and opportunities to the area.
Approach for Boreham, Chelmsford
To integrate a site specific artistic response to the public realm as part of the process developing the character of the development, identifying areas for public exploration and as a place for informal walking and meeting. Engaging the community in interaction with their environment prompting health and well-being.
To offer opportunities for increased social interactions, exploring the established path through the public open space, tracing the path of the sun, creating public spaces that go beyond the purely functional and create a place with a strong cultural identity.
To welcome residents and visitors to the development with art that surprises, raises interest and public response, striving for excellence, adding prestige to the development.
- Local ecology and heritage:
Developments in the consistent production of fruit trees , the varieties of apples produced in Boreham and their uses.
Mapping the existence of old apple varieties developed locally and still grown (possibly in gardens)
Opportunities for the Artist
There is scope for a contemporary art intervention to create an interface between the entrance to the site and the key residential area and a second between the play area and the public open space beyond. This may take the form of a landform, free-standing sculptural works, bespoke seating.
Closing date: 25th June 2020
The HI Street Shop is now officially closed
Between autumn 2018 to spring 2020 the vacant retail unit has been taken over as The HI Street Shop as an ‘in the meantime’ use. It’s provided a venue for micro start-ups, art workshops, exhibitions and craft fairs. It’s been fun and has maintained a vibrancy to the School Hill end of the High Street, but the units are being now being prepared for redevelopment.
The shop has helped to launch two new micro businesses Gin House Flowers and Full Circle. Both have successfully tested their products, built their audience and are ready to move into their own premises. Its a very successful outcome and thanks go to Camel Projects who loaned us the building and to SCDC who waived the business rates.
The crafters who used the premises had opportunity to show their makes, the workshops shared skills, knowledge and enthusiasm and generally HI residents had a lot of fun joining in and taken home new treasures. It is likely that the Winter Fair will return in another venue. What this space!
‘Masterclasses at Lunch’
Masterclasses are currently postponed due to the Covid 19 pandemic but will be returning when normal work patterns are reinstated.
Masterclasses are a great way to engage staff in creative activity and get them away from their desks and screens for an hour. Masterclasses are relaxing and inspiring, and do not require prerequisite skills. Artists who lead the classes include Allison Henderson, and Clio Lloyd-Jacob.
‘One Grain’ arose as an opportunity whilst working on the public art project at NIAB Trust. We invited artists through an open-call to submit works along the themes of;
biology in art, making the invisible visible, the beautiful and the grotesque in the plant world.
The curated collection was an exciting mix of works by emerging and established artists.
Exhibited emerging artists
Inspired by the landscape of her home between the Norfolk Broads and Suffolk Coast, Ellie Seymour’s practice seeks to resurrect the connection between mankind and nature, by using found objects and organic materials to emphasise and question our modern relationship with the natural world. Her work investigates, preserves and celebrates the land, before it is lost by in-attention to an expanding, artificial global culture.
With the eastern philosophy wabi sabi at the core of her practice, she embraces the impermanent, imperfect and incomplete nature of life and endeavours to shine a light on the beauty of change, simplicity and ‘insignificance’.
2.5 x 2.5m Installation; mixed media, printed paper, ink, cynograph
Paul Barbu is a London based visual artist whose work is focused on contemporary process art.
The practice of architecture has informed his use of space and the impact achieved through material choices on a project. It has also given him a sense of the intimate structure within each form.
Barbu adopts a cinematic perspective. The architectural/filmic arrangements and juxtapositions of found objects create a sequential, cinematic experience reinforced by the fact that a majority of the works have dioramic compositions.
Rejecting the limits of a purely rationalist world-view, as humans increasingly experience isolation from the natural world, Barbu endeavours to create awareness and space for the dimensions of the spiritual to expand human consciousness.
‘The world of Uluq’
Materials: found and made objects, metal, wood, horn, plastic, natural fibres