As a culmination of the ORCHARD cultural programme in 2023 there was a series of celebratory events across Rochford on Saturday 2 December showcasing the work produced during the project.
Venues included the WI Hall, Market Square, Rochford Library, Old House & Kings Head.
– An inaugural East of England Nature Writing Event in the evening with some important authors and academics (from 6pm)
– Live projections of animations produced with local schools by international artist Lee Baker
– Participatory diverse cultural performances with Essex Cultural Diversity Project and Global Village, celebrating cultures from all corners of the world (African storytelling and drumming, Bollywood dancing, Chinese Calligraphy, and Henna Art.
– Batik flags representing 4 local parishes and Cherry Orchard Country Park in Rochford produced by local communities with Rochford-based artist Sally Chinea
- Arts and crafts in the WI Hall.
– Rochford’s Old House tours with historically themed tour guides, including the popular Rochford Tapestry that celebrates 1,000 years of history from across the 14 parishes of Rochford District (taking place at the Old House South Street)
– A presentation on the history and information in Cherry Orchard Country Park
– Artists Close & Remote showcase their latest film ’Large Blue’, exploring the Large Blue butterfly, conservation and environmentalism
– Storyteller Hannah Brailsford, sharing nature-inspired stories and collected insights into personal memories of Rochford’s natural spaces and environment including a tree themed installation made with local schools and community groups
– Family art workshops with Sally Chinea
– Talk about Cherry Orchard Country Park, looking at the history and what the park has to offer today
– The day was illustrated live by local artist Steve Jordan. Steve also showed a print of his painting 100 Year of Rochford, a homage to his home town currently on show at the Essex Open. In the painting the sides of the Market Square represent important years 1922, 1962, 1992 and 2022.
ORCHARD’s finale event offers the opportunity for residents and visitors to make a weekend of it with Rochford Parish Council’s Christmas Lights Switch on taking place in the Market Square on the Sunday (3rd December).