Work has begun on the installation of a major new piece of public art in Kings Hill, near West Malling in Kent.
Named ‘Slices of Peace’, the artwork consists of a giant multicoloured apple, flanked by two smaller apples, and was commissioned from British-Nigerian multi-disciplinary artist and designer Yinka Ilori, MBE, who was appointed as Artist in Residence in Kings Hill in 2021.
The artwork is being installed in Orchard Park, Kings Hill’s new public park, and will serve as a meeting point for the community.
“Bringing people and communities together is something I am passionate about and aspire to do through all of my work, which is why I am excited to bring ‘Slices of Peace’ to Kings Hill,” said Yinka Ilori.
“This installation is inspired by the rich culture and heritage of Kent, in particular its history of apple growing. Community is at the heart of this installation, and I hope it brings a ‘slice of peace’ to those visiting, offering them a place to wander, reflect, and meditate within the park.”
The apples – made from laser cut, powder coated steel – have been constructed off site by Firecracker Works and will be anchored onto concrete plinths. The larger apple is more than 5m in diameter to accommodate people inside it, and the smaller apples are 700mm in diameter. A soundscape by artist Peter Adjaye, which was the outcome of choral workshops attended by the community, will be accessible inside the giant apple.
When commissioning the work, Kings Hill development partners Liberty Property Trust and Kent County Council (KCC) formed a cultural partnership with Turner Contemporary, a leading gallery based in Margate, and the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), one of the top creative specialist universities in the UK.
Caroline Binns of Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust said: “Public art has always been a vital part of our placemaking in Kings Hill. Over the years we have commissioned numerous sculptures for prominent sites to encourage pride and attachment to the area. As the village nears completion, ‘Slices of Peace’ will be the final significant public art commission to be installed in Kings Hill, providing a lasting legacy for the community.”
The finished work, which is being curated by Turner Contemporary and UCA, is due to be completed in the Spring. The cultural partnership has been curated by Futurecity.
Yinka Ilori held interactive workshops for the local community as part of his residency to help inspire the creation of the artwork. The outcome of the workshops will translate into an exhibition in the Control Tower gallery produced by UCA students, coinciding with the unveiling of ‘Slices of Peace’ in Spring 2024.
For more information on the public art project, visit www.kings-hill.com/uca-turner-contemporary-public-art