Public Art Commission in Swallownest, Part 1.

Back in 2013, ROAR started working in partnership with the local council to develop a Public Art Commission in Swallownest, a village 4 miles south of Rotherham town centre.

Due to well-known, systemic changes within Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, the project suffered over the following years. However through dogged determination and passion from those directly involved, it has finally come to fruition this year.

The project focuses on bringing artwork to an established pathway in the village linking Nursery Road and Queens Road which sits adjacent to a new housing estate off Alpina Way. From the beginning it was important that local people were involved in the shaping and creation of this artwork.

Martin Heron is the artist who has been appointed to lead the project. His expansive repertoire in public art includes the transformation of The Corn Law Rhymer Roundabout on Wortley Road in Rotherham, which was named Roundabout of the Year in by the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society. Martin is currently hosting practical and discussion workshops with residents of Swallownest, exploring their ideas on how artwork can improve the site.

The creative direction has so been reflective of the village’s rural past, as one resident recalls:

“The first building over the bridge was Pritchards orchard entrance, they used to sell produce at that building. As kids we used to raid the orchard. I lived on Alexandra Road and over a field was the orchards. We got nabbed sometimes.”

Here are a selection of pictures taken from the first workshop this January focusing on creating “wax fruits”, which will have potential to become part of the permanent public artwork:

The final result