Public art project bears fruit in Kings Hill

A five-metre high, multi-coloured artwork celebrating Kent’s agricultural heritage has been unveiled in Kings Hill, near West Malling.

The artwork, titled ‘Slices of Peace’, is the creation of renowned British-Nigerian artist and designer, Yinka Ilori MBE and has been installed in the community’s latest public open space, Orchard Park.

‘Slices of Peace’ is the culmination of Ilori’s tenure as Kings Hill’s Artist in Residence. A multi-sensory piece of work, it comprises one giant apple, flanked by two smaller apples as well as a soundtrack by sound artist Peter Adjaye. It was developed in conjunction with staff from Turner Contemporary, students and alumni from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) – a collective known as AtelierUCA, and Kings Hill residents, who took part in a series of community workshops.

The opening event on Friday, 12 April gave the Kings Hill community the opportunity to meet the two artists as well as representatives of the organisations that partnered on the project. In addition to the artwork, attendees were able to view an exhibition by UCA students in the Kings Hill Control Tower Gallery.

Yinka Ilori said: “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,”

“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 – were constructed off site by Firecracker Works and 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. ‘Slices of Peace’ will be the final significant public art commission to be installed in Kings Hill.

Andrew Blevins, of Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust, said: “This sculpture is the culmination of a 30-year development project between us and Kent County Council to transform an 800 acre brownfield site – the former RAF West Malling airfield – into the vibrant Kings Hill we have today.

“Public art has been central to our philosophy right from the beginning, helping to forge an identity for the evolving community and instilling a sense of pride in the area. As Kings Hill nears completion, ‘Slices of Peace’ helps represent all that has been achieved and the vision of the people who originally conceived of this community.”

The sculpture was designed to be site-specific to Orchard Park, which also conserves a rare national monument – a Pickett Hamilton fort from WWII – and features a Kentish ragstone amphitheatre for outdoor performances. 

Turner Contemporary curated the project, drawing on its experience of leading major commissions and public art projects. 

Sarah Martin, Head of Exhibitions, said: “It was wonderful to work alongside an artist as passionate and talented as Ilori, who brings such colour, energy, and enthusiasm to his practice.

“The three individual apple-shaped structures that form the sculpture reflect Kent’s rich culture and heritage, and the county’s history of apple growing. ‘Slices of Peace’ represents a space for community celebration and an area for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together to create new memories and share in new experiences. The installation aims to promote wellbeing, inspire a sense of belonging, and celebrate joy and positivity.”

The Control Tower Gallery exhibition produced by the UCA students contains a selection of key artefacts representing the work that has gone into the artwork’s creation. Open to the public until Friday, 19 April, it includes a site model of Orchard Park and the artwork, the textile resulting from the community stitching workshop, a timeline of key photographs and drawings from across the project, and a video of an interview with Yinka Ilori. The exhibition gives an insight into the overall development of the installation and can be viewed by contacting

UCA’s Assistant Vice Chancellor, Professor Terry Perk, said: “The project involved our students and alumni in a variety of tasks, supporting the development and delivery of the commission. As well as curating the accompanying exhibition, their role included assisting with the community workshops that helped inform the artwork and working with Ilori to produce a site model in his studio.

“Working with an artist of his stature provided them with an opportunity to explore new ideas and learn new skills for supporting their studies, future practices, and their eventual careers.”

Liberty partnered with Kent County Council on the project and appointed placemaking and public art commissioning agency Futurecity to oversee it.

For more information on Slices of Peace, visit