We are pleased to announce that Kingsgrove was highly commended in the prestigious Planning Awards for the “Award for best use of arts, culture or sport in placemaking” for the sculpture and designs around the public square.
The artwork is a great addition to Kingsgrove, building on the history of the site by commemorating Kingsgrove’s origins as orchards for King Alfred, and basing the main sculpture around the King’s crown. It is an imaginative play space for children, with hidden sculptures to discover while playing and interactive elements with raised designs and bronze features for pencil rubbings so children can create their own artwork to take home.
The award was not just about the artwork itself but the design process. Kerry engaged with Wantage Primary Academy, Vale and Downland Museum, Sustainable Wantage and a local nature group when creating the art, and the pupils had a chance to learn about local history and art.
The unveiling of the project last October was also seen as a key element; St. Modwen and the school held a community day for residents, the community church, local charities and stakeholders. It was a celebration of Kingsgrove’s individual identity, but also showcased its links with the wider Wantage community with local food stalls and a local band providing music.
The artist behind the project Kerry Lemon said, “I am delighted that Orchard was awarded Highly Commended at the recent planning awards. It’s a project I am very proud of and it’s wonderful to see it recognised in this way. I was part of a VERY large team to create this work and I am so grateful for everyone’s input and support which made this happen”
St. Modwen Planning Director Dinny Shaw said, “Congratulations to the whole team on a well-deserved commendation. It was a great experience being part of the design process and I have really enjoyed seeing residents pause in these shared spaces and enjoy the artwork.”
Two further art and engagement series will be delivered as part of the later phases of Kingsgrove in relation to the Community Park and Orchard and youth facilities and we are excited to see what the community develops for these.