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International artwork at Kings Hill

International artwork at Kings Hill

A major new piece of public art by an internationally renowned sculptor has been installed at Kings Hill.

The piece, called ‘Guardian Figure’, is by Greg Johns, an Australian who has exhibited all over the world and whose work is internationally acclaimed. The sculpture was shipped 12,000 miles from Australia and has now been installed on the roundabout between Discovery Drive and Beacon Avenue.

It is an intriguing geometric form fashioned from weathered steel and its shape appears to change according to the angle from which it is viewed. Each view reveals different aspects of John’s work, making it perfect for positioning on a roundabout. The land around the base of the sculpture is being landscaped and will be planted with suitable flowers, such as tulips and sedums, to provide seasonal colour throughout the year.

Much of Greg Johns’ work is inspired by the Australian landscape, giving it a feeling of ‘roughness, toughness and vulnerability’.

“We were looking for something that could be appreciated from all angles and complemented the elegant curve of the crescent adjacent to the roundabout,” said Susan Davies, residential co-ordinator of Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd. “It is a striking and unusual focal point and totally fitting for its location.”

Advice on an appropriate sculpture was sought from Mark Davy, director of Futurecity which advises developers on cultural masterplanning and public art and who also commissioned ‘The White Horse’ for Ebbsfleet.

The sculpture was sourced from the New Art Centre in Wiltshire where a similar piece by Greg Johns was on show. Director Madeleine Bessborough contacted the artist and secured ‘Guardian Figure’ for Kings Hill.

The sculpture was paid for from contributions by the residential developers currently selling properties at Kings Hill.

True to its mission statement ‘to enhance people’s lives through extraordinary work environments’, Liberty is committed to the arts, enhancing its developments in the UK and America by acquiring and commissioning public artworks. There are already a number of iconic public artworks at Kings Hill and more are planned.

“The new sculpture by Greg Johns joins an impressive list of cultural investment by Liberty Property Trust UK to help develop a culture led placemaking approach to its property portfolio,” said Mark Davy. “Recent art projects include the high-profile Liberty Kent Public Art Award, a cultural strategy for the retail area of Kings Hill and an international arts project for their Cambridge Biomedical Campus site.”

In a recent survey on placemaking, Kings Hill achieved the highest overall score, beating Prince Charles’ Poundbury development in Dorset, which came third in the survey. The report praised Liberty for creating a clear sense of community pride and maintaining the sense of involvement from the community.

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