Apple peel swirl sculpture unfurls orchard roots

Herald Series: An artist’s impression of The Swirl designed by Maria Rosa Kramer, pictured below An artist’s impression of The Swirl designed by Maria Rosa Kramer, pictured below

A SCULPTURE based on an apple peel is to be installed at a shopping centre in Didcot after being redesigned over health and safety fears.

The Swirl will go into the Orchard Centre next month after winning planning permission from South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC).

Didcot Town Council objected to the original plans over concerns youngsters would climb on it and because it was situated too close to the steps near Sainsbury’s.

Following the objections, SODC planners agreed the sculpture should be repositioned so that it is a minimum of two metres away from the steps.

Herald Series:

Artist Maria Rosa Kramer

The district council will install the £85,000 sculpture in front of Argos, on Wednesday, March 12, from 8am to 9am.

Town council leader Margaret Davies said: “The position of the sculpture was changed slightly so that it is not so close to the edge of the steps. I like modern art and personally I am all in favour of this – it seems very appropriate.

“The sculpture has been funded by developer contributions – it’s money specifically for public art – so you can’t argue that it should have been spent instead on flood prevention or something else.”

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Designer Maria Rosa Kramer said the design of the 6.7m-high artwork represents the peel of an apple, to tie in with the area’s origins. The sculpture is a reference to an orchard which once stood in the garden of a house in the area.

One side of the sculpture’s ribbon design is polished to represent an apple’s flesh, while the other side is painted red, representing an apple’s skin.

Ms Kramer said: “I’m really excited about the imminent arrival of The Swirl.

“I love Didcot and it’s a huge privilege for me that this sculpture is coming here.”

Bill Service, SODC cabinet member for leisure, said: “I am really looking forward to seeing The Swirl standing tall at the Orchard Centre.

“Public art like this helps to give a place identity and makes it really stand out from other town centres around the county.”

There will be a display about the sculpture at Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot from Saturday.

It will chart its development, and feature work created by pupils from Northbourne Primary School in a workshop with the artist.

Cash for the project has come from Orchard Centre developer Taylor Woodrow, SODC’s Didcot Growth Fund and Hammerson, the centre’s leaseholder.

Hammerson and SODC announced plans for a £125m second phase of the Orchard Centre in 2011 but a planning application has not yet been submitted.

Comments (5)

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12:45pm Sat 22 Feb 14

piper2011 says...

£85,000 for that ! our council has too much money and not enough sense. why couldnt they have planted REAL apple trees ? surely it would have been greener ? but then i suppose some clown in the council wouldnt get to play the bigshot, bragging to the other fools about how they had just signed a contract spending the oiks council tax.
£85,000 for that ! our council has too much money and not enough sense. why couldnt they have planted REAL apple trees ? surely it would have been greener ? but then i suppose some clown in the council wouldnt get to play the bigshot, bragging to the other fools about how they had just signed a contract spending the oiks council tax. piper2011

7:01am Sun 23 Feb 14

Stokie71 says...

Piper2011. Read the article properly, the council didn't pay for it the developers did.
Piper2011. Read the article properly, the council didn't pay for it the developers did. Stokie71

1:14pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Adrian1 says...

I'd still rather the £85,000 developers money have been spent on a few hundred yards of new pavement or cycle track for infrastructure development. Or went towards a new bridge and road, we don' need one round here apparently - did the same pilgrimage Friday just gone that I did last year - 1 hour to rat run north of Oxford last year, 2 hours for same on main roads this year, but the traffic is fine apparently.
I'd still rather the £85,000 developers money have been spent on a few hundred yards of new pavement or cycle track for infrastructure development. Or went towards a new bridge and road, we don' need one round here apparently - did the same pilgrimage Friday just gone that I did last year - 1 hour to rat run north of Oxford last year, 2 hours for same on main roads this year, but the traffic is fine apparently. Adrian1

12:23pm Wed 26 Feb 14

livid99 says...

£85,000 for a few bent pipes ??
£85,000 for a few bent pipes ?? livid99

11:26am Tue 11 Mar 14

ReGen1 says...

I agree - a real apple tree would have been much better - and much cheaper. What a waste of tax-payers' money. It's saddening to think that the Council thought this was a good idea. Why not have more space for markets and the Chirstmas tree?
I agree - a real apple tree would have been much better - and much cheaper. What a waste of tax-payers' money. It's saddening to think that the Council thought this was a good idea. Why not have more space for markets and the Chirstmas tree? ReGen1

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