This work was made as an answer to my frustration in not being able to buy more than 2 or 3 varieties of British apples in season. I made the sculpture as a memorial to the home-grown apple.

The Apple trays came from a friends family house. The family had a small orchard and always stored the harvest in their cellar. The trays came with de-hydrated apples glued by their pectin to the newspaper liner underneath. This in itself was a poignant reminder of an era when households grew much of the fruit and vegetables needed.

In 2005 I went to visit the Brogdale National Fruit Collection in Kent and saw and tasted many varieties of Apples native to the Region. I obtained a list of all the native varieties, 85 in total, and made a handwritten label for each one which I pinned to the shriveled apples in the manner of a Natural History Museum exhibit.

The piece was installed in an empty room of a vacant flat, (in Ore Valley which was my studio at the time) whilst in the next room I laid out a table with all the apple varieties from Brogdale that were in season, and organized an Apple Tasting event for local residents.

There are records that show that much of Ore Valley was given over to allotments pre – development in the 1970’s, and several Apple Trees have been found in the overgrown part of the Green Space that remains. As part of the plans to regenerate the area I would like to commission Brogdale to develop a special variety for Ore Valley to be planted as part of the new housing development and landscaping of the greenspace in the Valley.

Mary Hooper.

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