Public art virtually unveiled at Melksham
04 December 2020
A public art display at the George Ward Gardens development in Melksham has been virtually unveiled this week.
The art installation by Julie Edwards and Ron Thompson of Planet Art, which was chosen to run the project, was commissioned by Persimmon Homes Wessex and Wiltshire council, as part of the 106 agreement to produce public art work for the new development.
As part of the process, a consultation was held with Melksham residents, including people living in George Ward Gardens and workshops with local schools, and Planet Art developed a series of proposals which were put on display in Melksham Town Hall for a public vote. The final designs were chosen and artists have been working on them for the past nine months.
As part of this commission Planet Art have also been mentoring local artists Jack Raisey a former George Ward student, and Joanna Mary Mountain-Lawrence an artist who lives in Lacock to develop their skills as public artists. Artist Julie Edwards said: “We are delighted to be able to unveil the works, albeit virtually, which have all been influenced by the former George Ward School logo, and include a Rings of Harmony entrance sculpture, river seating, handmade bricks made by residents, and a school inspired art trail across the Persimmon Homes site off Bath Road. Planet Art would like to thank Persimmon Homes, Ibstock brick Cattybrook, who supplied the raw clay material and fired the work, as well as the Melksham steering group and parish council, who have been fundamental to the success of the work. We would also like to show our appreciation and thanks to Diana Hatton who has managed the project and the residents of George Ward Gardens for their understanding while installing the works.”
On behalf of Persimmon Homes Wessex, Senior Planner James Proyer, said: “We’re really excited to finally see the unveiling of the new artwork at George Ward Gardens. A lot of hard work and dedication has gone into these installations and we’d like to thank the artists involved. The art reflects the history of the site and area and we hope the residents will enjoy the art installations for many years to come. This public arts scheme has been delivered as part of the planning permission for the George Ward Gardens development. We believe this investment will be of great benefit to both current residents, as well as future newcomers to the area.”