16 Jul 2012
Arrivals flying into Stansted Airport for the Olympics are to be greeted by a huge artwork in the meadows between the A414 and Parndon Mill in Harlow. Covering over 40 acres of water meadow, the ‘Olympic Acres’ landscape artwork will celebrate both the Olympic Games and the artistic heritage of Harlow.
The project is a collaboration between Little Parndon Primary School, the artistic community of Parndon Mill and William Gottschalk, who farms the land into which it will be cut.
As part of their ‘Essex Summer of Art’ initiative, Essex County Council have been encouraging artistic collaborations between artists and local communities, particularly where there is an open studios event. Parndon Mill Open Studios, which runs between 21st and 22nd July, attracts some 6-700 people each summer and, this year, it is hoped that the added attraction of the ‘Olympic Acres’ will bring even more people from Harlow and beyond.
Year 6 of Little Parndon School spent much of the Spring 2012 term preparing designs from which artists and architects from Parndon Mill selected their favourite. The design will be marked out by the school children and the architects of Parndon Mill before being mown into the meadow in time for a grand unveiling on 21st July, the first day of the Parndon Mill Open Studios weekend.
The successful design, drawn by Allie McDowall and featuring a runner on an athletics track, was selected from over 30 designs. When mown into the Water Meadows it will be visible from aircraft arriving into Stansted Airport during the Olympic and Paralympic period. In addition, ambitious plans are underway at Parndon Mill to construct a Camera Obscura, using a redundant chimney, so that visitors to the Open Studios event can view the artwork without having to take to the skies.
Read more about Essex Summer of Art>>
1. Parndon Mill in its delightful riverside setting provides workspace for artists, craftspeople, designers and architects, with different but interrelated skills, co-located in this creative environment. Here it is possible to commission an original piece of art, buy prints for an office, order some commercial graphics or have a building or a product designed. The expertise is on site and can be supplemented by numerous associates with complementary skills. More information can be found at http://www.parndonmill.co.uk/index.html
2. Parndon Mill Open Studios event runs between July 21st and 22nd. Twenty-six of the studios, workshops and design offices at Parndon Mill will be open. There will be demonstrations, including glassblowing, and opportunities to participate in craft workshops. Collaboration between artists, craftsmen and designers will be stressed at Open Studios. Paintings and sculptures will be installed in design offices to demonstrate what a difference these can make to the working environment. More information can be found at http://www.parndonmill.co.uk/open_studios.html
3. Little Parndon Primary School Little Parndon is one of the largest primary schools in Harlow, having a capacity for 420 children. Children and staff work closely together to develop the school ethos and values system which help to place Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Trust at the heart of everything they do within the school and the whole community More information can be found at http://www.littleparndon.org.uk/
4. Funding for this project has been provided by the BAA Community Fund, based at Stansted and is being delivered as part of the Essex Summer of Art programme. Essex is celebrating its fourth Summer of Art this year. Local artists will exhibit their work on art trails and open studios in the county's rural, coastal and urban settings, showcasing the county's artistic talent. Essex Summer of Art 2012 is the biggest yet and representing nearly every district and unitary across the county celebrating the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games through art. More information can be found here>>