Monday, 21 October 2019

Ridgeway Farm Art Project Newsletter #2 Autumn 2019


Ridgeway Farm Art Project Newsletter #2 Autumn 2019



Location: Ridgeway Farm Residential Development, Purton, Wiltshire.


Phase One: Community Consultation - ongoing to February 2020 for the residents of Ridgeway Farm and the wider Purton community.
You may have received a flyer through your letterbox about this project – this is a quick update for you!

Walk ‘n’ Talk no. 2 - Sunday 27thOctober 2019

Meet me outside Ridgeway Farm Academy, SN5 4GT at 11am

This is an open invitation for you to join me as we explore the public open spaces that have been identified for a COMMUNITY ORCHARD and Nature trail!
Bring your dog / trainers / wellies / camera / notebook/ sketchbook / friend / binoculars / map / flask…!

The aim is to spend a couple of hours as a group exploring your space – looking at where any art work might go and letting you get to know me and find out more about this free project.
(Sorry - no unaccompanied children (or pets!) - please come as a family instead!)


The Map:

Following the first Art Workshop with Year 5 at Ridgeway Farm Academy in September, I am collating drawings and photographs to use in a HAND DRAWN MAP of the development.  Iain Green of Wildlife Wonder worked with the children and a display of their fabulous photographs will be on show next year at the school Summer Fair.  I will be using their drawings in the map and now there is an opportunity for youto have your art work included too – I want your drawings of wildlife, nature, landscape, houses, trees, plants, flora and fauna seen on the development to include in the map which will be given free to each household in the development.
Please send me drawings or bring them to the walk n talk events – asap! A3 max size, colour or black and white, name and date the work!


The Community Orchard:

Following a site meeting with Greensquare who manage the public open spaces on the development, I can confirm that if a group of minimum of 6 residents can form a working party we can put into motion the community orchard.  There needs to be a group of committed residents who will love and cherish the orchard over the coming years so if you would like to be  involved please come and meet me.  The space identified as most suitable is in the (currently fenced-off) area of open space to the north east railway boundary - off Mill Hill down towards River View.  What do you think of this location?  Do you like fruit?  What would your favourite fruit tree be and will you help plant it?  

I hope to incorporate this orchard into the map and make a seat or sculptural signpost for the space.


Bat Boxes:

Next spring (after torpor/hibernation) there will be a ‘Bat Walk’ with a volunteer from the Wiltshire Bat Group – you can get involved in identifying where the bats are and how many there are on the estate – date to be confirmed soon.  Let me know if and where you have seen bats this summer – this will be added to the map!

There will be a bat box making workshop for residents spring/summer 2020 – sign up now if you want to receive info about this – I need to confirm numbers to plan a workshop space for this – if you are a great wood worker – can you help?

Art Work/sculpture:

I am looking for residents views on a location for a piece of art work/seating/sign post/welcome sign for the development – do you want to contribute?  Is there a space you have seen that would be great for a piece of sculpture?  Come and meet me to discuss the options and have a say in what happens in your public open spaces!

This project needs your help!   Can you help spread the word?  Tell your neighbors and get people talking about what is happening?  
I will be running more art workshops at the school, cubs and scouts and an after school photography session for parents with their children and Wildlife Wonder next year – sign up now!






Follow this https://melissacoleartistblacksmith.blogspot.com/ to find out more about the project and/or sign up for regular updates!

Follow #ridgewayfarmart on Twitter and Instagram

If you would like to contribute to this project in any way please contact me via email; melissa@melissacole.co.uk

See you on site soon!

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Ridgeway Farm Art Project Update 21.08.19

Ridgeway Farm Art Project Update 21.08.19

Following the first Walk n Talk on Sunday 11thAugust and subsequent site visits, the project is now taking form.

Meeting outside the Ridgeway Farm Academy at 11am we headed up through the houses to Upper Ox Hill where the path leads spiralling around to the top (and has been nicknamed Snail Hill) wild flowers are starting to come through but mostly chick weed is dominant. The views are amazing from there - looking across to Liddington across the centre of Swindon; to Purton and up to the Cotswolds possibly as far as the top of Birdlip Hill.
Public Open Space to North West of Ridgeway Farm looking towards the railway line















There is a footpath on the other side of the B4553 road that leads back to Purton but is not clearly accessible at the moment and has new saplings densely planted up to the development boundary.


Looking back towards the development from the railway arch
Public footpath to Purton
We crossed over to the public open spaces to the north where once you have negotiated the steps a path leads toward the railway bridge and footpath to the River Ray – a delightful surprise for me that this is so easy to access from the development.  Further on you can reach the old canal.  The attenuation ponds in front of the railway already have reeds and grasses to attract wildlife and new saplings have been planted to the western boundary.  There is another public footpath from Purton direction that links to the path going under the railway.  This particular area was really interesting to me as a potential site for the community orchard – it is a bit space currently being mown and slopes to the east with protection from prevailing west winds.



The large public open space to the east of the path is a hill side that has another attenuation pond at the base and is bordered by the railway line fencing.  It has recently been cut for hay and there is a gently worn path across the top leading to the east end of the development which I explored recently and found another lovely pond, stream and ditch and newly planted large trees around the border of the development.  The space was deserted when I was there on a glorious sunny day.

Although only two households came along to discuss the project and explore the development plenty of good ideas were put forward including;



  • ·     A community orchard would be a great addition to the site – especially as a way of getting people together to use the public open spaces in a positive way and would help encourage more wildlife and ecology.
  • ·     The art work could take the form of a seat/way-markers on a nature trail/an entrance sculpture to welcome you to the development but more people should be consulted about this.
  • ·     The top of Upper Ox Hill is a great place for a seat with a shelter.
  • ·     Yes – bat box making workshops would be welcome.
  • ·     Marking the site of the round houses and/or iron age burial site is important – more investigation into this archaeology report is needed and one resident is interested in doing this.
  • ·     An after school parent and child wildlife Wonder session would be welcome.
  • ·     Getting together as a community was welcomed as it is a big development that only has the school to tie residents together and not everyone has children or uses the school.

Other suggestions including how to help make the public open spaces user friendly were made:


  • ·     A leaflet drop should happen to engage residents in the project – MC to investigate
  • ·     Improved  disabled access on site would help to make the spaces more accessible – there are a lot of steps that are difficult to negotiate if you are with young children/push chairs/wheelchair user/less able bodied
  • ·     Zebra crossing at Upper Ox Hill and through the main road across the estate would make it safer for children to use the POS and access the community orchard in the future.


At the moment the project is heading in the following directions;

Develop an accessible nature trail through parts of the public open spaces across the development recorded by residents /children via art workshops with MC and Wildlife Wonder workshops and presented in a fold-out hand illustrated map for each household.

Creating a community orchard with potential for a community gathering/celebration area incorporating seating or a free standing sculpture.

Bat box making workshops for the community to attend and make their own boxes – some to put in mature trees on site and some for residents to attach to their own homes.  A bat walk is planned for the autumn.

The next project event is a workshop at Ridgeway Farm Academy on Wednesday 25thSeptember with Iain Green of Wildlife Wonder.  We will be working with year 5 pupils on the school playground and hopefully exploring the larger off-school site gathering information about the wildlife on your doorstep and getting art work for the map.

Other after school workshops for parents with their children are planned as is a cubs/scouts workshop.  If you would like to be involved please contact me and get on the mailing list for further information email me




              @melissacole001 #ridgewayfarmart
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Saturday, 10 August 2019

Ridgeway Farm Art Project 'Walk n Talk' 11 August 2019

Newsletter #1 Summer 2019



Location: Ridgeway Farm Residential Development, Purton, Wiltshire.

Phase One: Community Consultation - now to February 2020 for the residents of Ridgeway Farm and the wider Purton community.



Following the launch of this project at Ridgeway Farm Academy Summer Fair on 13thJuly you are invited to come to:

Walk ‘n’ Talk on Sunday 11thAugust

Meet outside Ridgeway Farm Academy SN5 4GT at 11am

This is an open invitation for you to show me your public open spaces and share with me and the group how you hope these spaces will be used in the future.  

Bring your dog / trainers / wellies / camera / notebook/ sketchbook / friend / binoculars / map / flask…!

The aim is to spend a couple of hours as a group exploring your space – looking at where any art work might go and letting you get to know me and find out more about this project.

Ideas already suggested and open for discussion are;

* Entrance Sculpture * Seating – Meeting Places * Nature Trail * Wildlife Sculpture 
* Community Orchard * Bat Boxes *

This project needs your help!  Do you have an interest in the history of the farm, birds, trees and gardening, nature and wildlife and/or just want to be involved in the art project in some way? 

This project needs a keen photographer to document the project - this could be a student or amateur wanting to develop a project of their own - please get in touch!

I will also be looking for anyone with wood working skills that might be able to help.

No unaccompanied children (or pets!) - please come as a family instead!

RSVP to melissa@melissacole.co.uk

Follow this blog to find out more about the project and/or sign up for regular updates!

Follow #ridgewayfarmart on Twitter and Instagram

If you would like to contribute to this project in any way please contact me via email; melissa@melissacole.co.uk

See you on site soon!

Friday, 12 July 2019

Ridgeway Farm Art Project Launch 13.07.2019

Thank you for your hospitality and interaction today at the Summer Fair - I enjoyed talking about the project with you and you made some lovely wings!


This is the poster about the launch of the exciting art project coming to the new Taylor Wimpey development near Purton in North Wiltshire.

I will be at the Ridgeway Farm Academy CE School ROOTS PTA Summer Fair talking about the project - come and make a pair of wings from an old map and write down what you hope to see come from the project - if you live on Ridgeway Farm or in the wider Purton community - this project is for you and your public open space.

The is the start of a community consultation period where I will be working with the local community assessing the spaces and watching how they are interacted with by both human residents and the wildlife.  I want to get to know the space and invite residents to join me in some 'Walk n Talk' sessions around the old farm, exploring the spaces and discovering a little more about the place as it was and how it might be in the future.

Dates for seasonal 'Walk n Talk' sessions are;

Sunday 11th August 2019 - Meet at 11am outside Ridgeway Farm CE Academy, The Buffer, Purton, Swindon, Wiltshire.  SN5 4GT
Sunday 27th October 2019
Sunday 19th January 2020
Sunday 17th May 2020

Its an informal way to meet up and explore the site, see if there are areas suitable for art work/trees/planting/communal seating - do some sketches, take some photos, record the site over the seasonal year.  Please contact me to sign up for any of these sessions.

School workshops are planned too and by the school summer fair 2020 there should be a design available for all to see.

I will be on site over the summer  - you are welcome to join me and make my experience of this lovely space more personal by telling me about it from your perspective.

This is a 'Section 106' project as part of the planning requirement.
I was first approached in 2013 to produce design ideas for spaces within the site for a planning application.  The designs were done with no community consultation as the site was a deserted farm then and it is now more appropriate to involve the community on site in the shaping of their public open spaces. These designs are shown for reference below: Copyright Melissa Cole 2013
Wheat Stook arch and Seat for Ridgeway Farm Development.  Copyright Melissa Cole 2013


Saturday, 25 May 2019

Stanford In The Vale Art Project

STANFORD IN THE VALE ART PROJECT

May 2019 
Public Art Project – Community Consultation Opportunity

Following some building development in the village (Section 106) there are some Public Art works in the consultation and development stages and the local residents of Stanford In The Vale have an opportunity to be involved.

Initial design ideas are being worked on for new planters for the main entrance roads into the village – The High Street, Cottage Road etc.  Some of these will replace the existing wooden ones but it is hoped there will be a few new ones!  

The longer term goal is that these will be the start of an arts trail that will creatively explore and bring together some of the events and features that have shaped the village over the years.

I am the artist who will be seen in and around the village putting together ideas!  I have already spent a number of days in a hi-viz jacket wandering around measuring signs and exploring the village researching the local history.  

As the project progresses, I would like to meet with members of the SIV Local History Society, the Gardening Club and Art Group and any other residents that have an interest in the Public Art Project.  

The plan is that there will be outline designs for the planters on display at the SIV Village Festival in June  –  please pop along to the church to see them while you enjoy the flower festival.
I will be around on at least one of the festival days if you want to talk about the project and I am looking for members of the community to get involved in adopting a planter and creating a stunning flower display when they are installed later this year.  It is hoped that there will be a community competition with groups adopting a planter and looking after the plants in it through the year – if you want to do this – please let the me or the parish council know!
For more information about the project, you can follow this blog or email me directly via my website www.melissacole.co.uk

Friday, 24 May 2019

Ridgeway Farm Art Project - It's Happening!

RIDGEWAY FARM  ART PROJECT

Location: Ridgeway Farm, Purton, Swindon, Wiltshire.

Public Art Project – Community Consultation – Get involved!

Ridgeway Farm housing development is nearing completion and as part of the planning requirement (Section 106) there will be a public art project starting this summer which it is hoped residents of the development will be involved in.
  
I was selected in 2013 by Taylor Wimpey to work with the local community to make a fabulous art project and now that the development is nearing completion the project is happening!

With the help of residents and parishioners there will be a design and consultation stage  starting this summer where I will be exploring the site, drawing on the  local wildlife, flora and fauna along with the local history  I would like to meet with any interested residents and parishioners who know anything about the history of the farm, have an interest in birds, nature and wildlife and/or just want to be involved in the art project in some way. 

I am also looking for someone that is a keen photographer to document the project - this could be a student or amateur wanting to develop a project of their own - please get in touch!

I will also be looking for anyone with wood working skills that might be able to help.

This project is in the planning stages now – it is planned that there will be a series of workshops with Ridgeway Farm Academy and drop-in design sessions for residents. 

I will be at Ridgeway Farm Academy Summer Fair organised by Roots PTA on Saturday 13th July to talk about the project and gather your ideas - come and find me and let me know what you think and what you would like to see in your community.

Follow this blog to find out more about the project or sign up for regular updates!

Follow #ridgewayfarmart on Twitter and Instagram

If you would like to contribute to this project in any way please contact me via my website; www.melissacole.co.uk

See you on site soon!


Monday, 1 April 2019

Ferrous Festival 2019 5th - 14th April 2019

For anyone interested in blacksmithing there was a great event in Hereford - Ferrous Festival 2019
You can see the results of the fabulous #150mmchallenge pieces which have inspired blacksmiths from across the globe to get involved and post images of their work on social media.
My piece was about giving myself boundaries along with the limited stock of 150mm of 20 x 20 mm square steel bar.  I had 3 hours from starting the forge to finishing the piece and limited myself to hand hammer, power hammer for tapers, hardie, fire, anvil and wanted to include a 'knocked-up' or 'square corner' in my piece while also making it as long as possible.  I didn't want my piece to be restricted in any way and balance and fine hammer work was important.


A FESTIVAL OF ARTIST BLACKSMITHING,
HEREFORD 5th- 14th APRIL 2019
PROGRAMME & MAP  
FERROUS FESTIVAL RETURNS WITH A CELEBRATION OF THE NATURAL WORLD  
After an amazing festival in October 2017, Hereford Business Improvement District and Hereford College of Arts are enormously proud to present the second Hereford Festival of Artist Blacksmithing this April.  
Recently, Hereford College of Arts lecturer, Ambrose Burne set a challenge for students to make the most of a small piece of metal (150mm by 20mm x 20 mm), a challenge which artist blacksmiths around the world have taken up. Be the first to see their work in this extraordinary and beautiful exhibition before it goes on tour. 
The Festival acts as a showcase for the remarkable range of home-grown artistic and cultural talent in Herefordshire and is already establishing a reputation as the place for international metal artists to exhibit their work. 
Georgia Smith & Del Done
Hereford Business Improvement District & Hereford College of Arts
Festival Organisers   
Instagram @herefordanvils 
Instagram @ma_contemporary_crafts
Instagram @ferrousfestival2019