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
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Liberty Property Trust UK 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. At September 30, 2023, 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 1.2 billion square feet (114 million square meters) in 19 countries. Prologis leases modern logistics facilities to a diverse base of approximately 6,700 customers principally across two major categories: business-to-business and retail/online fulfilment.
About Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd and Kent County Council
Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd 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 Rolex, Cabot Financial, Marsh and Arthur J Gallagher.
Liberty Property Trust UK and Kent County Council formed a collaborative public/private sector venture 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.
About Yinka Ilori
Yinka Ilori is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer whose bold visual language draws on his British-Nigerian heritage to convey new narratives through contemporary design. Drawing on Nigerian parables and verbal traditions, Ilori touches on a multitude of themes that resonate with a global audience. His work is underpinned by the belief that art and design should be accessible to all. Humorous, provocative and playful, his projects demonstrate how design can bring together communities and have a positive impact on society, evoking a sense of joy and optimism. Often using the city as his canvas, he reimagines spaces to encourage a sense of community and invites audiences to engage and participate in his work and its surroundings. A graduate of London Metropolitan University’s BA in Furniture and Product Design, Ilori’s work has been showcased globally through solo and group exhibitions, public commissions and set and exhibition design.
About Turner Contemporary
Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s leading art galleries. Founded to celebrate JMW Turner’s connection to Margate in 2001, the David Chipperfield-designed gallery opened in 2011. Our work extends beyond showcasing world-class exhibitions to driving the social and economic regeneration of Margate and East Kent and transforming lives in one of the most deprived areas of the UK.
Since it opened, Turner Contemporary has welcomed over 4.1 million visits, put over £80 million back into the Kent economy, and connected with thousands of people from the local community through our world-class programme.
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, in the form of a novel, was created through community-centred choral workshops, hosted by Yinka IIori and in collaboration with contemporary conceptual sound artist, Peter Adjaye. The workshops 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 powdercoated 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 powdercoated 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, and will take two weeks [30/01-10/02/24]. 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 [04/03/24], 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, 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 powder-coated 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.
Given all of the land allocated for residential has been sold to housebuilders, this is the last significant artwork commission by Liberty Property Trust and Kent County Council and there will not be another Artist in Residence.