“Oh we are getting posh in Swallownest” — reactions to Public Artwork in the village.

As discussed in my other two blog posts about this project (both can be found here), ROAR have been working in collaboration with the local council and Area Assembly team to bring a piece of public artwork to the village of Swallownest. Martin Heron, the commissioned artist chosen to create the piece of work, has striven to collaborate with the local community in the concept and delivery of the project.

A number of workshops were set up to engage with local residents, invited along to create pieces of sculpture and share their memories of the village. Local Counsellor Lyndsay Pitchley said: “The opportunities through the workshops were fun and fabulous. They were easy enough so everyone can have a go.”

Local residents helping with the design of the fence!

One participant, reflecting on the orchard in the village which greatly inspires the design of the fence, said: “Mrs Bradley used to sell apples and conference pears on her porch using old fashioned weighing scales. I used to pick up some conference pears on my way home from school.”

Another resident simply said during one of the workshops: “I really appreciate being asked to be a part of this.”

As with any artwork, especially work installed in such a public place, the reaction after installation is very important. In this way, some of the comments made by local residents on site during installation were simply brilliant.

On strolling up to the fence one young man said to his friend, “oh I like that new fence… the fruit are great, mint job!”, as another passerby commented “I’ve not seen the like of this anywhere, it’s fabulous. I came past this morning and it just made me smile.”

One younger resident exclaimed: “That’s brilliant! Made my day that has and its right here in Swallownest. I thought the apple core was real, thought someone had set it there while you were working!”

Another resident stated: “Oh we are getting posh in Swallownest!”

The fence was unveiled officially on Saturday 24th of June and will of course be there for anyone’s viewing pleasure in the coming weeks, months and years.