Keyingham man thanks community for support of artistic endeavours

By Tim Nuttall, Gazette Reporter


 

TEN months after a remembrance-themed display captured the imagination of villagers in Keyingham, the man behind its creation - and a growing number of subsequent follow-up displays - has shared his thanks for the support shown by the local community. 

Eagle-eyed residents, and even those who are simply passing through, can’t have failed to notice the succession of carefully crafted silhouettes of various figures that have appeared in prominent locations around the village in recent weeks. 

The latest figure, a depiction of a young boy with his hobby horse, was installed outside Flames on Main Street only a few days ago. 

Local joiner Duncan Kirk has been overwhelmed by the positive response to his latest project which, since July, has seen ten different silhouette images installed on the walls of businesses and private residences around the village. 

Commenting on the response from the community, Duncan said: ‘It’s a really nice feeling to know that so many people like the models. They have become a real talking point around the village, and I am delighted that so many people are getting enjoyment from seeing them. 

The past few months have obviously been hard for people, and following positive feedback from earlier installations, I wanted to create some new additions in the hope that people will get enjoyment from seeing them too.’

Initially intended as a one-off creation, last November’s Remembrance Day display - which saw silhouette soldiers positioned in the grounds of St Nicholas’ Church, and alongside the village’s war memorial, proved so popular that Duncan was inspired to create a follow-up winter display. This took the shape of several grazing deer that were placed in the grounds of the church and on the village green. These were followed early in the new year by several rabbits and birds in the same locations.

Local artist and joiner Duncan Kirk poses with one of his creations in the village. (Photo Credit: Tim Nuttall)
 

To mark the sad passing of Captain Sir Tom Moore in April this year, Duncan created a remarkable silhouette based on the enduring image of the captain with the walking aid that helped him raise so much money for the NHS. This took pride of place outside the church and was a fitting tribute, and show of respect, to a true hero of the pandemic. 

Now, with ten models already in position as part of this latest installation, and several requests for more pending from business and homeowners alike, there are plenty of more surprises on the horizon for fans of his work.  

 Commenting on the support from businesses, Duncan said: ‘After approaching a couple of businesses to gauge interest in having a silhouette installed on their premises, the initial fittings prompted the owners of others to offer their wall spaces as a blank canvas to accommodate a display. 

I am grateful to The Richwood Salon, Magintys, Alphyra Audio Visual, The Ship Inn, the Blue Bell and Flames who have all supported the project, as well as the numerous homeowners who have also taken part for the benefit of the community.’ 

Further models are already in the pipeline, with offers still coming in for space to display them from people eager to be involved. In true ‘Banksy’ style, one of the artists who Duncan cites as an influence for his work, he remains tight-lipped about what his next piece will be and where it will appear – preferring to leave it as a surprise. 

Although there is no formal trail to follow, the up-coming models will join existing examples such as The Cool Cowboy, Mary Poppins, The Kissing Couple and Winnie the Pooh that can be seen dotted around the village. 

With a brand-new remembrance installation also in the pipeline, which will feature over 1400 handmade poppies alongside a fitting Remembrance Day scene, Duncan and his family have a busy few weeks ahead of them as they prepare for their next installment of community art.