25 Jul 2008

More orchard celebrations: Cherry Aid and Edwina Bridgeman

Thanks to a comment today on my recent post about hopes to set up a local community orchard (see here) I was alerted to Cherry Aid - apparently 19th July was 'Celebrate British Cherry day' - I missed that but celebrated cherries this year with a punnet full of cherries from a small cherry tree I have in a dustbin near the front door - and v yummy they were - and the birds only had a few....anyhow I welcome such moves as I had no idea that in 50 years we’ve lost 90% of our Cherry orchards and now import around 95% of the Cherries we eat.
cherrycherrycherryCherryAid aims to...
- Get everyone to bite into at least one British-grown Cherry this year
- Save our remaining traditional Cherry orchards

- Encourage the planting of new Cherry orchards

- Encourage producers to use British-grown Cherries

- Encourage chefs, restaurateurs and home-cooks to use British-grown Cherries

Another way of getting across the wonders of orchards was an exhibition earlier this year at the New Brewery Arts in Cirencester – this really was an amazing exhibition - Artist Edwina Bridgeman’s touring exhibition, The Orchard, covered all aspects of orchards from apple picking to cider making - the central installation was a gated orchard, with three trees, a ladder, an apple box and a grazing animal as well as a host of other hidden wildlife, combined to create a space that visitors can enter to enjoy the thought-provoking surroundings. The trees are made from workaday materials, often thrown away, containing objects and painted narratives about the history and folklore of orchards and apple-growing.

As well as Bridgeman’s re-creation of her experience of being in the contemplative surroundings of an orchard, the stories and experiences of others are also included to make 25 additional pieces of mixed material work. She also invited visitors to make their own statements.

If you can catch that exhibition do so - I first saw the figures this artist made some years ago - totally inspiring - indeed can remember the exhibition and conversations and even cafe afterwards - this Orchard exhibition is equally great.

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