The 'Apple Seat’ has officially opened at Bloor Homes at Boreham development

From Small Seeds the Mighty Apple Grows

The ‘Apple Seat’ at Orchard Way, has officially opened at the completed Bloor Homes at Boreham development. The sun shone, the choir sang and the Deputy Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr Sue Dobson cut the satin ribbon. 


Created by Planet Art – Julie Edwards and Ron Thompson – the artwork is the culmination of multiple consultations and creative workshops. Started in 2019 and progressed during Covid, the workshops were initially led by Julie and Ron via Zoom, then later in person when Covid restrictions lifted. The process included art classes for the Boreham Primary School, the local Arts Circle, and interested parties who were able to book and attend online.


Julie said, “The Apple Seat was chosen from several designs and was not only the choice of all the stakeholders, but it was also a firm favourite of the community.  Voting took place via Facebook and at various in-person consultations. 


“The artworks also include a series of plaques celebrating the varieties of apple developed by Seabrook’s Nurseries in Boreham, representing important aspects of the social history of the whole area, something we were keen to reflect.” Ron added, "We’d like to thank the community of Boreham for being so welcoming and engaging with the project.”


Children in the ‘Green Team’ from Boreham Primary School also helped the Cllr Dobson plant a variety of apple tree called ‘Seabrook Red’, developed locally in Boreham, and the school choir entertained with their school song.


The Planet Art artists were commissioned by Alison Turnbull of Alison Turnbull Associates on behalf of Bloor Homes to fulfil the planning obligation associated with the Plantation Road development in Boreham. It also kickstarted additional community-based projects supported by Boreham Parish Council with the artworks forming part of an Art and History Trail created for the community launched as the Apple Seat was unveiled.


Alison added, “Public Art is often the one element of a new development that is unique, and specific to that place. The money allocated through the planning system cannot be spent on anything else and it must involve the work of professional artists. We wanted to create a unique artwork which encapsulates something reflecting the social history of Boreham, whilst contributing something beautiful and functional that adds that unique and special quality to the development.”

In this way, public art becomes the treasured objects of the community and are properly public works, woven into the fabric of daily lives and which do not need to be visited in a gallery.

The Facts:

  • The Five Plaques represent the Seabrook Nurseries Apple varieties; Opal, Garnet, Flame, Opal, Ruby and Amber.The street names also reflect the orchard connection.
  • The Apple seat is galvanised and painted steel, measures 3.5m x 3.5m and weighs – a lot!
  • Workshops were run with the Arts Circle, with individuals and families who booked a free ticket, and with the school over a number of days. The artists met more people from the community at an event run in the adjacent field ‘In Search of Apples’ and exhibition ‘Another Place Another Time’ in The Art Space, High Chelmer.Julie and Ron have also created the Boreham Apple for the Parish to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.


Other examples of works by Planet Art, and works commissioned by Alison Turnbull Associates can be seen at: www.planetartsculpture.co.uk and www.alisonturnbullassociates.com