Public art project bears fruit in
Kings Hill

A five-metre high, multi-coloured artwork, developed in conjunction with students and alumni from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) – a collective known as AtelierUCA – and celebrating Kent’s agricultural heritage was recently unveiled in Kings Hill, near West Malling.

22 Apr 2024

Mihaela Yankova, an Interior Architecture & Design graduate from UCA Canterbury, who was a member of AtelierUCA and created the site model for the project and worked in Yinka’s studio, said: “It’s so nice seeing the project come to life, very colourful and lots of emotions – it feels very surreal.

She added: “It’s felt really good being part of a strong team. I really enjoyed that so many people from different backgrounds were involved. There were moments I felt I was out of my comfort zone, but I enjoyed it because it was new and a good lesson learnt.”

(L-R): Mihaela Yankova, Aishat Bello, Pro Vice-Chancellor Profesor Terry Newman, sound artist Peter Adjaye, Yinka Ilori MBE, Daniel Tollady Interiors Lecturer

(L-R): Mihaela Yankova, Aishat Bello, Pro Vice-Chancellor Profesor Terry Newman, sound artist Peter Adjaye, Yinka Ilori MBE, Daniel Tollady Interiors Lecturer (School of Architecture & Design)

‘Slices of Peace’ is the culmination of renowned British-Nigerian artist and designer Yinka Ilori’s (MBE) tenure as Kings Hill’s Artist in Residence. A multi-sensory piece of work, it comprises one giant apple flanked by two smaller apples and a soundtrack by sound artist Peter Adjaye. The artwork was installed in the community’s latest public open space, Orchard Park.

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.”

Kings Hill - Yinka Ilori & Andrew Blevins - Photo by Matthew Walker copy

The artwork was the result of a cultural partnership, shaped by Futurecity, between the artist, developer (Liberty Property Trust), the local council (Kent County Council), and the local arts community (Turner Contemporary and UCA) and residents.

Mark Davy, CEO of Futurecity, UCA alum and former UCA staff member, said: ‘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, and the people of Kings Hill.’  

Mihaela, AtelierUCA

The Control Tower Gallery exhibition, which accompanied the unveiling was produced by AtelierUCA and contained a selection of artefacts representing the work that has gone into the artwork’s creation. It included 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.

Aishat Bello, a graduate of MA Visual Communications at UCA Canterbury who worked on the publications side of the project, added: “I’m happy for and proud of everyone involved– it’s finally here. It’s a stunning artwork and an amazing addition to this lovely neighbourhood.

“Being able to share the project with the community and for them to see the process and how it’s all come together feels really good.”

Andrew Blevins, of Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust, said: “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."

To see how the project unfolded, visit the latest news on the AtelierUCA page of the website.

To learn more about studying a UCA, visit the course pages.