IN the spot where Rotherham growers’ finest crops are usually shown, a wildflower meadow has bloomed.
Had Covid-19 not intervened, the pasture round the back of Clifton Park Museum would have hosted the Rotherham Show’s horticultural tent, not to mention its popular live music tent.
Instead, the only trumpets to be seen were those of the giant sunflowers in the town’s latest massive work of land art.
A year ago, TV watchers following the Tour de Yorkshire were treated to the awesome site of a huge bubble-themed display appearing to cascade from the front door of Wentworth Woodhouse onto the unusual canvas of its sprawling lawn.
Visitors were invited to take a stroll around the painted patterns — which took the tour’s land art prize — before they were washed away by the rain.
Clifton Park’s own version, produced by the Landmark Collective in tandem with North Anston artist James Brunt, is even more interactive, a labyrinth of stems, tendrils and primary-coloured flowers to wander through.
The park, once left deserted by the lockdown, was back to its bustling self, the fun park and playground buzzing and families picnicking on the grass.
And at the freshly-reopened museum itself, artist Vicky Hilton was encouraging visitors to commemorate this most unusual of years by designing and producing a Thank You placard for NHS staff and other key workers, which were gathered to form a mass public Demonstration of Thanks mural in All Saints’ Square (pictured, bottom).
The floral maze — as big as two football fields — and the Thanks installation are the first public fruits of the Rotherham Together campaign, a seven-month programme of events Rotherham Council said would bring people back together safely.
Themed around three areas — joy, gratitude and hope — it will include talks, performances and screenings, some virtual, some in person, as well as “toolkits and guides to help us figure out our new normal”.
Grimm and Co, Rotherham Ethnic Minority Alliance, Rotherham NHS Trust, Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, Voluntary Action Rotherham and Wentworth Woodhouse are all involved.
Cllr Sarah Allen, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for cleaner, greener communities. said: “Rotherham Together programme is a great way to bring people together in a safe way as we continue to battle coronavirus across the borough.
“It’s been an unprecedented and extraordinary time with challenges for all of us and we hope that the programme of events planned can bring some much needed joy to people, as well as thanking those key workers that have been working so hard throughout the pandemic and helping us collectively look, with hope, to the future.”