Family / David Thorpe

Spring art programe at Whitchurch & Hengrove Community Orchard

By steve wright, Monday Mar 27, 2017

Whitchurch and Hengrove Community Orchard will host a public programme of art projects, talks, workshops and trips this spring and summer.

Planted on Whitchurch Village Green, south Bristol, with the help of local children and
residents, The Orchard consists of 48 heritage fruit trees in the shape of a cathedral. It currently provides a meeting place and, in time, will produce plentiful, free fruit for the community.

This spring and summer’s activities include brass rubbing, badge making, singing, pruning and picnicking. Artists and writers have created projects to spark the imagination about the future. Kayle Brandon’s new brass rubbing sign at The Orchard provides information about the fruit trees, while Ellen Wilkinson’s printed ‘slogans’ can be made into badges that reference the bright, playful design of fruit stickers. Holly Corfield Carr’s new wassail song is rooted in The Orchard and activated by the voices of those living nearby, while a special summer event brings local groups together to perform Freya Gabie’s bespoke Grafted Chorus throughout Hengrove.

Artwork by Freya Gabie

“The Whitchurch and Hengrove Community Orchard seems, in its current immature state, to be all about possibility and potential,” Ellen Wilkinson comments. “It is not truly an orchard yet, in the sense that it is yet to provide the things we would typically associate with an orchard: plentiful fruit, shade, lush green leaves. Given that the orchard will take 8–10 years to reach maturity, this interim period needs to be filled with ideas that spark the imagination, that encourage thinking and visualising, of not only the future orchard, but more broadly: of alternative ways of looking at the world.”

Artwork by Ellen Wilkinson

Located on Whitchurch Green behind Asda, Oatlands Avenue, BS14 0AX, the Orchard was originally created by artist David Thorpe as part of the Future Perfect public art programme. Bristol City Council has commissioned the forthcoming five-month engagement programme as part of its long-term development.

The Spring/Summer 2017 events programme is free and open to all. Visit for full information

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