Hengrove and Whitchurch Community Orchard

A Future Perfect public art commission http://www.futureperfectbristol.org/commissions/

Future Perfect is a new model of commissioning public art for Bristol City Council,in which the budget and governance is controlled by members of the Hengrove community. Future Perfect is the first public art programme to be funded through this scheme and managed by the Neighbourhood Partnership.

Hengrove and Whitchurch is a suburb and council ward of Bristol. The area is home to the long-disused Whitchurch Airport, now grassed over, and partly a large open space, much loved by dog walkers and kite flyers and partly redeveloped into the largest urban regeneration site in Bristol. Hengrove Park is the location of the new Leisure Centre, South Bristol Community Hospital and Skills Academy.

Artist David Thorpe has been invited to contribute to the physical fabric of Hengrove in order to create a long-term legacy for the project. His commission will be both functional and curious and will become part of the infrastructure of Hengrove.

Thorpe has produced a design for a community orchard made out of large growing fruit and nut trees planted according to the floor plan of a cathedral, which will provide food as well as a meeting place for the community.

Thorpe’s idea provides a short and long term legacy for the community of Hengrove as the ‘tree cathedral’ slowly grows in to form.

The community including primary and secondary school children will be involved in the initial stages of planting and growing, but also later on in the harvesting.

The engagement programme starts this autumn  called ‘Sharing the harvest’ it alludes to the notion of nurture, growth, yield and community celebrations relevant to the four seasons. The focus will be on acquainting ourselves with the traditions associated with the creation and nurture of Orchards.  ‘Sharing the harvest’ will offer the community a programme of participatory events and artist led commissions, such as singing, story telling, use of by products basketry, pottery, cider making and cooking.

The Orchard will be planted on November 25 – 26  2015.


October 2014—2016

Project Manager

David Thorpe

One Child Per Tree, Bristol City Council