Yinka Ilori Appointed as Artist in Residence in Kings Hill

Kings Hill development partners Liberty Property Trust and Kent County Council (KCC) are thrilled to announce that London-based multidisciplinary artist Yinka Ilori has been appointed as Artist in Residence in Kings Hill.  Turner Contemporary is the curator for the project and the gallery will draw on its experience of leading major commissions and working with the community.  The project will also benefit from collaboration with students and staff from University for the Creative Arts (UCA), Kings Hill residents and Futurecity.

Over the course of this year, Ilori will work with Turner Contemporary’s programming team, students from UCA and the Kings Hill community to create a public artwork for the garden village’s new park. The appointment will be Ilori’s first as an ‘artist in residence’; having visited and researched the site, his initial ideas will be further informed by spending time on the site and with Kings Hill residents over the next few months. The unique approach of bringing partners with a range of skillsets together, alongside a process designed to ensure that the work is site specific, aims to enable as many people as possible to benefit from collaborative public art.

This commission comes in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic which has highlighted the extraordinary opportunities provided by open green spaces. Traditionally, parks have been venues for social interactions, community meetings and moments of joy and play. Kings Hill will see Ilori use its newly completed park to design and realise a public art commission that reimagines open space use for the future.

Andrew Blevins, Managing Director, Liberty Property Trust said:  “We were drawn to Yinka’s energy and enthusiasm for the commission and the fact he is an emerging artist, brimming with ideas that will bring colour and fun to the park.”

Ilori specialises in storytelling by fusing his British and Nigerian heritage to communicate new narratives in contemporary design. He began his practice in 2011 up-cycling vintage furniture, inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables and West African fabrics that surrounded him as a child. For Kings Hill, Ilori’s initial proposal weaves the history of apples throughout the park.  Commenting on his appointment, Yinka Ilori said: “Visiting the site in Kings Hill was a breath of fresh air; standing on top of the Amphitheatre and looking out at the whole of Kent was magical. I was drawn to this project and the site in Kings Hill because it’s full of history. I want to explore how we remember and celebrate that history and bring a new story that’s relevant to now and the people that live and work there! This is my first experience as an artist in residence, and it’s super exciting to be able to connect with new people and new ideas. I am looking forward to learning new things, understanding new cultures and ways of thinking. With the commission as a focal point, I’m really excited for people from further afield to come to know Kent for the beautiful place that it is.”

“Turner Contemporary was inspired by Yinka Ilori’s proposal which showed a sensitivity to the history of the site whilst imagining a new future. He left room for the work to evolve through his interaction with the Kings Hill community and students from UCA.” Victoria Pomery, Director, TURNER CONTEMPORARY

‘UCA was impressed with how Yinka Ilori outlined opportunities for students to work with his observations and studies of the park this year, and in the creation of lasting and playful public artworks that speak to Kings Hill and its surrounding area.” — Terry Perk, Assistant Vice Chancellor (Academic), UCA.

‘Futurecity sees major artists drawn to meaningful engagement with people and place as a key factor in deciding what public art commissions they want to realise.  The partnership approach offers more to the artist, as well as the people of Kings Hill.’ – Mark Davy, CEO, FUTURECITY LTD.

Ilori’s appointment is part of a broader public art strategy for Kings Hill written by cultural placemaking agency Futurecity in 2019, and their work to form this cultural partnership to realise the commission.  With Turner Contemporary as curators, UCA as a bridge to academic mentorship and exhibitors, Liberty and KCC’s investment in public art further leverages long-lasting partnerships that offer a transparent view of the artistic process and connects the resulting works personally to residents and business park employees.

‘We admire the work of Yinka Ilori, and are thrilled that he will be working with Turner Contemporary to contribute an artwork to Kings Hill, through an inclusive process which will engage a wide range of stakeholders and the  Kings Hill community.’— Michael Hill, OBE, Cabinet Member for Community Services, KENT COUNTY COUNCIL.

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Liberty Property Trust Limited is part of the Prologis group of companies (NYSE: PLD).


Prologis Inc is the global leader in logistics real estate with a focus on high-barrier, high-growth markets. As of December 31, 2020, the company owned or had investments in, on a wholly owned basis or through co-investment ventures, properties and development projects expected to total approximately 984 million square feet (91 million square meters) in 19 countries. Prologis leases modern logistics facilities to a diverse base of approximately 5,500 customers principally across two major categories: business-to-business and retail/online fulfillment.


Liberty is developing Kings Hill – www.kings-hill.com – as a rapidly growing sustainable community in line with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), ensuring economic, environmental and social progress for this and future generations. Kings Hill combines commercial, residential, educational, retail, community, sports and leisure uses within 800 acres of highly landscaped low-density parkland and aims to promote quality of life by providing a unique environment in which people can live, work, play and study. In addition to providing accommodation for SME’s, Kings Hill also attracts significant international tenants such as Barclays, Rolex, Cabot Financial, Marsh, Arthur J Gallagher and Kimberly-Clark.

Liberty Property Trust UK and Kent County Council formed a collaborative public/private sector “partnership” to develop Kings Hill as an exemplar mixed-use community. Kings Hill is the County’s flagship development for attracting inward investment and promoting regional economic growth.


Yinka Ilori is a London-based multidisciplinary artist of a British-Nigerian heritage, who specializes in storytelling by fusing his British and Nigerian heritage to tell new stories in contemporary design. Humorous, provocative and fun, every project that he creates tells a story. Bringing Nigerian verbal tradition into playful conversation with contemporary design, Yinka Ilori’s work touches on various global themes that resonate with different audiences all over the world.

He studied Furniture and Product Design at London Metropolitan University and has since exhibited internationally in solo shows: LIFEWTR partnership with Series 5, MiAdiddas x We Transfer, March 2018; Unilever, Red Red, January 2018; Now Gallery, Design Undefined, September 2017; Citizen M Hotel, Estate Playground, September 2017; The Africa Centre, A Large Chair Does Not Make A King, September 2017; Plinth, The Magnum Home, May 2017; Clerkwenwell London, Design Undefined, September 2016; Milton Keynes Art Centre, Do Good Because Of Tomorrow, December 2017 (Current); Tropen Museum, African Fashion Cities; May 2017; Brighton Museum, Africa Fashion Cities, April 2016; Design Miami, AirBnb, Belong. Here. Now; British Library, Word Song Symbol; If Chairs Could Talk, The Shop At Bluebird, September 2015; This is Where It Started, The Whitespace Gallery, Lagos, October, 2014; Yinka Ilori, Just Africa, Stockholm March 2014 and It Started With a Parable, Jaguar Shoes, London in collaboration with London Design Week, December, 2013.

And group exhibitions: September 2020; KNIT!, Kvadrat; March 2019; Why Craft Matters, Harewood House;  Flow of Forms / Forms of Flow, Museum of Ethnology Hamburg, August 2018;Home Affairs, Now Gallery, August 2015;  Making Africa, Vitra Design Museum, Basel, March, 2015 touring to Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Autumn 2015;  Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands 01 Oct 2016 – 17 Jan 2017, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia 15 Oct 2017 – 07 Jan 2018; Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 03 Feb 2018 – 06 May; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, 14 Oct 2018 – 13 Jan 2019; Africa Calling, Africa Utopia, Southbank Centre, September 2014; Creative Britain feature stand, British European Design Group, International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), New York May 2012.


Turner Contemporary in Margate is one of the most distinctive galleries in the UK; its impact stretches beyond culture-led regeneration and the showcasing of world-class exhibitions, to pioneering change by making the arts more vital and connected to daily life. Turner Contemporary is a charity, receiving public funding from Kent County Council and Arts Council England. In copy please refer to Turner Contemporary and not ‘The Turner Contemporary’ or ‘The Turner.’


As a specialist arts institution providing education for over 160 years, UCA is 100% creative. We are the second largest provider of creative education in Europe with four campuses across the South East of England. Our campuses are all specifically designed to enable students to develop their skills and thinking in environments that replicate the studios found within the creative industries, alongside peers on courses spanning arts, business and technology. We were recently named Modern University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide in 2019 and are the highest placed specialist creative university in the Complete University Guide and The Guardian’s 2021 league table. We are also ranked seventh across all universities for business in The Guardian’s 2021 league table and have been recognised for the quality of our teaching by the Office for Students, who awarded us ‘Gold’ in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


Futurecity Ltd. is a cultural placemaking agency that creates cultural strategies, brokers cultural partnerships and delivers major arts projects for clients across the public and private sectors. Founded by Mark Davy in 2007, Futurecity has produced over 125 cultural strategies, brokered over 20 cultural partnerships, and worked on over 100 artist commissions for clients across four continents. In 2017, Sherry Dobbin joined as Partner, bringing her expertise across new cultural development models, public-private partnerships, and international programming experience. In 2014, Futurecity delivered a comprehensive wayfinding strategy by Futurecreative and Millimetre outside Kings Hill’s Control Tower Gallery and Cultural Centre that resulted in embedded artworks that explored the rich history of West Malling with help from the local community.