Artists compete to have their work installed in Biggleswade housing development

The artwork will be permanently displayed at Sorrel Gardens

By Laura Hutchinson
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 1:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th February 2022, 3:54 pm
Top left: Artists Tim Ward, Kelly Douglas and Wendy Briggs and, clockwise from top right: The designs for the steel ring sculpture with seating, human sundial and steel circular gardens.
Top left: Artists Tim Ward, Kelly Douglas and Wendy Briggs and, clockwise from top right: The designs for the steel ring sculpture with seating, human sundial and steel circular gardens.

Three artists are competing to have their work permanently displayed in a Biggleswade housing development.

The talented trio have submitted designs to housing provider Grand Union Housing Group which will be permanently displayed at Sorrel Gardens, an extra care scheme for the over 55s.

And Grand Union is calling on the public to help decide from the three designs, which include a human sundial etched in slate, a bronze flower structure and a large, decorated ring seat – all inspired by local wildlife, flowers and herbs.

Karen Nicholson, Community Investment Manager at Grand Union, said “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.”

Bedfordshire art teacher Wendy Briggs is one of the artists competing.

She is planning 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.”

Artist and designer Tim Ward, from 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.

He 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.”

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

You can pick your favourite art idea online - but be quick, as voting closes on Monday, February 15.