Exploring the orchard

A heartwarming story of the joys of Google (other search engines are available).
I have just eaten an Amelia apple from M&S in Bankside and enjoyed it so much I wanted to find out more. I knew from the label that it was called Amelia in memory of the daughter of an M&S colleague and a couple of keystrokes later (inept jabbing at laptop might be more accurate) and i found a website called www.orangepippin.com, which informed me that it was originally a French variety called Dalitron "a modern yellow apple developed in France. Being promoted in the UK by M&S under the name Amelia". Great website for apple-lovers like me who think there's more to life than Gala and even Braeburn... My tasting notes as follows:

Exploring the changing city - new painting commission

Exciting news at Placeworks HQ. I am going to be working as artist in residence at a large London infrastructure project - details still to be worked out but culminating in an exhibition later next year. If you want to be kept updated please let me know at sarah@placeworks.co.uk

Painting of the month

Nothing urban about this month's painting - an apparently peaceful rural landscape painted on a wooden gesso panel. Perhaps hard to tell from this photograph, but the painting has been scraped back, even gouged in places to reveal layers of paint and the wooden support beneath, suggesting perhaps that not all is as bucolic as it might seem. You can see 'Flatlands' in the Places gallery.

Rail bridges in postcard mystery

Continuing the rail bridges and arches theme I have just painted three small postcards for a charity sale - can't tell you which charity or the postcards wouldn't be a mystery, but do have a sneak preview in the Places gallery.

Incompetent selfie

Selfies are instant and everywhere so I thought I'd try approaching them the slow way - in paint. My first attempt at a selfie - taken in the Ladies' at the Musee d'Orsay, how auspicious, wasn't a great start in the genre.
If you have one of your own that you would like explored in paint, please get in touch at sarah@placeworks.co.uk

What makes a great neighbourhood?

Answers on a postcard please.
After living in several different capital cities in the past - Paris, New York and Dublin - Placeworks has been based in London now for nearly 10 years. There are some great neighbourhoods in all of these cities, where you can feel 'at home' whether you're there for only a few months or even days, and one of my favourite back burner projects at the moment is thinking about how best to help even the shortest stay 'resident' - hotel guests - get to know their (temporary) new backyards. Time to put it to the test myself, perhaps.

STOP PRESS Placeworks in New York! Introducing the Tiny Guides

Have you been to Bankside's LAKE?

You really should. 100 Union Street SE1, just along from the Jerwood Space on a site that's well used to creative urban interventions in the past. Have a glass of wine in the handsome brick railway arch then settle back to propel your small boat as it bobs around the temporary lake with (full-size) trains rumbling overhead.

Val Beirne, Bankside Urban Forest Manager says:

Bankside Neighbourhood Plan - planning a complex city neighbourhood

Neighbourhood plans, introduced by the Government's Localism Act in 2012, encourage communities to get involved in helping to shape how their neighbourhoods will change and develop in future. Bankside in London is an historic, complex and highly characterful place, home to residents as well as businesses, and some world-class cultural superstars. Working together to help map out how the neighbourhood should grow, in such a way that this rich character is sustained and not obliterated, is a real challenge - and one that is pretty unusual amongst the developing neighbourhood plans so far. But Bankside's up for the challenge and a Neighbourhood Forum, made up of residents, large and small businesses and community and cultural organisations, is consulting with other people to gather ideas for a plan that can make Bankside a better place for everyone.

New book commission

Sarah has been invited to co-author a new book on urbanism - details to follow.

What's happening around Bankside and London Bridge? Find out in dbrief Quarterly 17

Get the stories behind the developments at Bankside and London Bridge from the latest issue of dbrief Quarterly, written and edited by Placeworks for Bankside and London Bridge Logistics Group.
In this issue we focus on building opportunities and bringing Bankside to life – from ways into employment for local people to engaging arts projects and festivals that are animating our neighbourhood. We catch up with Bankside Neighbourhood Plan, now that the forum and plan area have been formally designated, and in Meet the People we talk to people involved with EmploySE1, including local resident Lee Bates who has found work through the scheme.