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.
Turner and UCA have been working in partnership to deliver a public art commission for Orchard Park – the new park in Kings Hill, along with an exhibition. In 2021, they appointed British-Nigerian multi-disciplinary artist and designer Yinka ilori, MBE, as Artist in Residence in Kings Hill.
In Spring 2024 the artwork – a giant multicoloured apple, flanked by two smaller apples – is due to be completed and installed in the park. This will be the culmination of several years of work including interactive workshops that Yinka ilori held for the local community to help inspire the creation of the artwork. A soundscape by artist Peter Adjaye will be accessible inside the giant apple.
An exhibition, produced by UCA students, will take place in the Control Tower gallery, coinciding with the unveiling of ‘Slices of Peace’. It will include a timeline of photographs about the overall project, a film of an interview with Yinka Ilori, a site model of Kings Hill and the sculpture, the Seeds of Hope textile from the stitch workshop and Peter Adjaye’s soundscape.
The giant apple that will become ‘Slices of Peace’ being constructed.
New artwork installation begins in Kings Hill, 30 January 2024
‘Slices of Peace’ is a public art commission by British-Nigerian artist and designer, Yinka Ilori. ‘Slices of Peace’ comprises of three individual apple-shaped structures that represent Kent’s rich culture and heritage, and the county’s history of apple growing.
Peter Adjaye, a contemporary conceptual sound artist, held two choral workshops in 2022 as part of Yinka Ilori’s ‘Slices of Peace’ installation. These workshops used the West African musical technique of ‘Call and Response’, bringing participants together in a common language to create a new choral soundscape for the installation in Kings Hill.
As part of these sessions, the local community were asked about their feelings and aspirations, which were included in the final recording. Additionally, there was a callout for community members to submit their own sounds of Kings Hill such as speech or poems, that would also be included in the final installation.
‘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. ‘Slices of Peace’ is made up of two smaller apples and one larger, more immersive apple. Together, the installation aims to promote wellbeing, inspire a sense of belonging, and celebrate joy and positivity.
Local community members shared they felt ‘meditative’ when engaging in the sensorial, choral workshops and events. These responses contributed to Yinka’s approach to ‘Slices of Peace.’ He wanted to create an immersive space that would connect people of all ages and backgrounds and ultimately, spark meaningful conversations, inspire new perspectives, and bring joy, peace, and reflection to the lives of those who visited the installation.
A soundscape was created through community-centred choral workshops, hosted by Yinka IIori and in collaboration with contemporary conceptual sound artist, Peter Adjaye. The workshops which were facilitated by Randolph Matthews were intended to compose a soundscape which reflects the community’s voice. This soundscape is site-specific and will be available via a QR code on signage around the installation.
The installation has been fabricated by rolling hollow-section mild steel, welded together to create framework that is clad in 3mm laser cut mild steel patterns. The ‘apple stem and leaf’ is made from 5mm steel with a 3D resin printed stalk bonded around a 48.3mm steel tube. The inside of the structure is covered in an a hexagonally perforated expanded steel mesh. The large apple is powder coated and finished in colours selected by the artist.
A base has been created to anchor the large apple, comprising a 100mm sub-base, with a 300mm deep concrete slab on top, and then 20mm of EPDM rubber surfacing.
The small apples have been created by constructing a 3mm and 6mm steel plated frame clad in 1.5/2mm laser cut steel patterns. The leaf is made from 4mm steel with a 3D printed steel stalk. The small apples are powder coated and finished in various colours selected by the artist.
A 3mm steel plate is fixed to the base of the structure to anchor the apple to the ground. The plate is fixed to a 4mm box steel section which is set into concrete in the ground.
Works on the foundations of the sculpture commence from the end of January 2024, and will take approximately two weeks. This entails setting a reinforced concrete slab into the ground with drainage, and extension of the existing pathways toward the site.
During this time, placement of electrical ducting to supply low voltage power to the artwork’s uplights will also take place. The installation of the eight octants or ‘apple slices’, which form the 5.5m diameter, spherical sculpture will take place one month later once the concrete is set, and the weather is more likely to be forgiving. The installation will take one week.
The fabrication process began in November 2023 with the rolling of lengths of hollow section steel. Throughout December the ‘curved’ rectangular and box section was welded together to create the framework segments that bolt together in eight segments.
During the course of January 2024, Yinka’s four pattern designs were cut out of mild steel sheet, rolled and formed to be able to ‘cup’ the spherical steel frame, as they were welded on. Throughout February all sections will be powdercoated to withstand the elements, before being sprayed in Yinka’s multicolour palette. The entire process will have taken three months.
Slices of Peace is a cultural partnership between Turner Contemporary, Margate; University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury; Liberty Property Trust and Kent County Council. Representatives from each of the partners, plus cultural placemaking agency Futurecity, formed a Steering Group that has overseen the project. Ilori’s appointment in 2021 was part of a broader public art strategy for Kings Hill written by Futurecity.
Turner Contemporary is the Curator for the project, drawing on its experience of leading major commissions and public art projects. The gallery was responsible for selecting the artist, along with other Steering Group members, and overseeing the curatorial development of the artwork.
AtelierUCA is a collective of students and alumni from the University for the Creative Arts, supporting the development and delivery of Yinka Ilori’s commission, Slices of Peace. This involved them in a variety of tasks, which included curation of the accompanying exhibition, assisting with the community workshops, working with Yinka to produce a site model in his studio, and the design of the accompanying publication. Slices of Peace gave UCA’s students and alumni an opportunity to explore new ideas and learn new skills for supporting their studies, future practices, and their eventual careers. It’s also given them a rich experience that will have a lasting impact on their professional careers.
The exhibition represents just a small percentage of the tremendous work that has gone into the development of Slices of Peace. AtelierUCA have been involved in the project at all stages, and have curated an exhibition of key artefacts and outputs that represent some of the project and its development. These include the community textile from the stitching workshop, a timeline of key photographs and drawings from across the project, and an interview with Yinka Ilori himself. These works have been selected to give the community and the wider public an insight into the overall development of the installation.
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), the top creative specialist university in the UK.
Part of Turner Contemporary’s role was to create a shortlist of artists, which included Yinka. We were looking for an up-and-coming artist – perhaps the next Antony Gormley – and Yinka fitted that brief. He had boundless enthusiasm and lots of vibrant and colourful ideas.
It was always important to the partnership to have an educational element to the project, hence the inclusion of UCA. As Yinka is in the early stages of his artistic journey, he is the perfect role model for the students.
Although the project began in 2021, Yinka’s actual residency was a 12-week period when he, together with soundscape artist Peter Adjaye, ran workshops with the community to determine the final artwork.
Yinka’s work will continue until ‘Slices of Peace’ is installed.