News Flash : A stunning sculpture at a Shropshire hospital, created in tribute to a much-loved peacock has been given a Royal seal of approval – after being unveiled by HRH Princess Alexandra.
The sculpture at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) was designed and created by artist Luke Kite at The British Ironwork Centre, who financed the entire scheme, and was made using obsolete surgical instruments and equipment.
It was made as a lasting memorial to Percy the Peacock, who lived for almost 25 years on the hospital’s grounds before he passed away in January.
The sculpture, which stands upon a plinth outside the hospital’s Main Entrance, was unveiled today by Princess Alexandra, who also officially opened a £15.1 million Theatre and Oncology building.
Beverley Tabernacle, Director of Nursing, said: “Percy was a big part of everyday life at RJAH – he was well known to patients and visitors alike.
“We had already been looking at creating a sculpture to recognise his significance to our hospital, after some staff in our Sterile Services Department had suggested creating something out of theatre equipment that would otherwise have been thrown away.
“When Percy died just after the New Year, we knew we had to do something to mark his importance to our story, so this just made sense.
“We were delighted and so grateful that The British Ironwork Centre agreed to help us, and Luke Kite has done a wonderful job of creating a truly stunning piece of art.
“It was wonderful that we were able to time this project to coincide with our Royal visit – and what a fitting way to pay tribute to Percy.
“He will now sit outside our Main Entrance for years to come, greeting patients and visitors alike.”
Clive Knowles, owner and chairman of The British Ironwork Centre, is no stranger to unusual works of art.
His centre has in recent years gained fame for creating a spoon gorilla for magician Uri Geller and, more recently for the Knife Angel – a stunning sculpture made out of knives surrendered to amnesties carried out by every police force in the country.
Clive said: “Supporting charity and community projects is something which is at the heart of what we are all about.
“When RJAH approached us with the idea of creating a tribute to Percy, we were only too delighted to get involved and support our local hospital.
“We believe that there has never previously been a sculpture of this kind, made using used surgical instruments. We always enjoy pushing boundaries at The British Ironwork Centre, so embraced the challenge.”
Artist Luke Kite added: “It was great to be asked to create this sculpture and I enjoyed working with the Theatre equipment that the hospital provided.
“It’s made for a unique piece of work and I am very pleased with the way it has turned out. I hope people enjoy seeing it when they visit the hospital.”