Local artists bid for Sorrel Gardens installation!

News – 31 January 2022

Our Community Investment team is delighted to be working alongside three local artists, in a bid to have their artwork permanently displayed in our biggest ever development.

Grand Union is calling on the public to help decide from the three designs, which will feature in the grounds of Sorrel Gardens, Biggleswade. They include a human sundial etched in slate, a bronze flower structure and a large, richly decorated ring seat – all inspired by local wildlife, flowers and herbs.

Work is well underway to finish Sorrel Gardens – an Extra Care scheme with 93 apartments for those over 55 with an identified care need, 68 of which will be for social rent and 25 for shared ownership sale.

Karen Nicholson, Community Investment Manager at Grand Union, said “As a member of the Community Investment team, the varied nature of our day jobs is a real perk of what we do.

“It’s been a privilege to work with the local artists, who have each offered very different proposals for Sorrel Gardens. The artwork will help enrich the environment and provide an engaging feature for the community and those who live at the scheme. It will help improve the lives of those living at the scheme and build a strong connection with the local community.

“I was blown away with the designs presented to me and will definitely need the help of the public in deciding the winner. I will be knocking on the doors in the local estate and visiting customers in our other Extra Care scheme, Quince Court, to gather feedback and votes.”

Artist and designer Tim Ward, of Essex, proposes a large steel ring sculpture with seating to be located on one of the public open spaces near the entrance to the development.

Tim said “I’m eager to work with those living at the scheme and the local community to further develop the artwork. I am committed to collaborative working and delivering creative projects that imbue a sense of ownership and pride.”

Kelly Douglas, a Blacksmith from Northamptonshire, said “My Sorrel Gardens design is based on an artistic interpretation of chamomile plant, to fit in with theme of the development.

“It consists of three separate steel structures, placed in the three circular gardens. They will be finished in a shade of rustic bronze and buried under the soil to give the appearance that the flowers have sprouted from the earth.”

Qualified art teacher Wendy, from Bedfordshire, proposes a ‘Human Sundial’ engraved slate paving, with etched images and text of local wildlife and flowers. She said “This commission appeals to me as it is themed around a herb garden and orchard. The artworks can be positioned to act as wayfinding, for example a route through the orchard or as markers at entrances and exits around the site.”

The winning artwork will be installed ready for the completion of Sorrel Gardens, anticipated in Spring 2022. You can vote for your favourite artwork here.