After carefully reviewing the proposals received, the PHP arts panel – consisting of local residents – has chosen to commission Sheffield-based artist Ralph Skrimshire of Handspring Design to design and install a series of three sculptures across the site.
Each sculpture will feature a pair of soaring red kites affixed to a solid oak post. The birds will be made from solid oak timber and will be brought to life by individually designed stained-glass panes inset in the wings. The stained-glass panes have been designed by Juliet Forrest and reflect the theme of the three different areas in PHP: the design for Rockingham Gate features an oak tree, while the Town Gardens design features a traditional stone wall and the Weldon Lakes design is inspired by the nearby lake.
Ralph chose the red kite as a beautiful and iconic resident of Priors Hall Park. It is a species that has been present in Northamptonshire since ancient times, but was absent for almost a century and has now been successfully re-established – red kites are both traditional residents and relative newcomers, therefore representing established communities and recent arrivals. They symbolise regeneration and act as a link to the past.