Kirkby thrones installed

Published on: Tuesday, 22-September-2015

The transformation of Kirkby town centre is set to be completed over the coming days with the installation of the final piece of spectacular public art.

Three giant thrones will provide a unique, eye-catching place to meet and for people to enjoy reading, relaxing and storytelling in the brand new Civic Square.

Each of the three distinctive thrones has been designed around ideas from local community groups and schools.

A series of events will take place to mark the much-anticipated arrival of the thrones over the next few weeks, including storytelling sessions for local schools delivered by performance poets.

Situated opposite Kirkby Library in the council’s £5m Kirkby Centre, the thrones provide a place for people to read and relax.

The thrones are the third piece of public art to be installed in the town centre, following the tree and Edward’s Elephant. Their arrival also marks the completion of the public realm works, which have transformed the appearance and layout of Kirkby town centre.

Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Eddie Connor, said: “I’m delighted the thrones are now here for people to enjoy and use in the town centre. The public art belongs to the people of Kirkby – it is their ideas and memories that have inspired this artwork and brought it to life.

“Art is, of course, highly subjective and I appreciate that while many people will love the pieces in Kirkby town centre, others won’t. That’s fine. That’s the nature of public art. One thing is absolutely clear – the artwork has got people talking about Kirkby and I’m sure many will want to come to our town to see the artwork for themselves.”

The artwork has been brought to life by creative organisation, Working pArts. They were commissioned in 2012 and have worked with local residents and schools to get people’s ideas about public art and what they would like to see in their town centre.

Artist Geoff Wood, from Working pArts, said: "I hope people will feel a bit special when they sit in the thrones. They are so big they make everyone feel like a child again!

“I wanted to create something dramatic but still familiar and there are echoes of Kirkby’s past. Now that the art programme is complete, I hope people will feel that there is something that they like.” 

Local art tutor Mel Sullivan said: “What a wonderful piece of public art these thrones are. Knowsley is such a lucky borough to have things like this to provoke thought and interest. I really hope they are appreciated by the people who live, work and play in this area. Well done to those responsible!”

Pupils from St Michael and All Angels School in Kirkby have already been taking part in storytelling sessions ahead of the thrones being installed. Year 6 teacher Clare Mitchinson said: “The giant winged thrones will bring a unique way in which families in Kirkby and in the wider community can come together and let their imagination grow and come to life. They can encourage families to enjoy storytelling together and be creative.”

For more information about Kirkby’s public art and to watch our short videos about the different pieces, click here.