The Whitchurch and Hengrove Community Orchard is the result of artist David Thorpe's Future Perfect commission. Bristol City Council commissioned this exciting five-month engagement programme as part of its long-term development.
The Whitchurch and Hengrove Community Orchard seems, in its current immature state, to be all about possibility and potential. 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 - commissioned writer Ellen Wilkinson
This lively programme of public art projects, talks, workshops and trips took as a starting point ideas evoked by the Whitchurch and Hengrove Community Orchard. Planted on Whitchurch Village Green, south Bristol, with the help of local children and residents, The Orchard consists of forty-eight heritage fruit trees in the shape of a cathedral. It provides a meeting place, and in time, will produce plentiful, free fruit for the community.
Artists and writers created projects to spark the imagination about the future. A range of free activities were offered including brass-rubbing, badge-making, singing, pruning and picnicking, giving people the chance to engage with and be inspired by the special setting of The Orchard. A place to gather, learn and harvest. A place that will grow with its people.
All events were free and open to all to attend.
The Orchard can be found on Whitchurch Green behind Asda on Oatlands Avenue/near Bamfield (BS14 0SF).
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See below for the list of events that made up the programme. Follow the links for more information about the artists, projects, trips, talks and workshops.
Spring / Summer 2017
Throughout the programme Whitchurch Library* hosted an ‘orchard library,’ bringing together related materials from libraries across the region. There was also a display about the programme, a badge-making machine for Ellen Wilkinson’s project and a supply of paper/wax sticks for rubbings of Kayle Brandon’s sign.
*Whitchurch Library, Oatlands Avenue, Bristol, BS14 0SX. Telephone: 0117 9031185. Opening Times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 1pm to 5pm; Tuesday, Saturday, 10am to 2pm; Closed Thursday & Sunday