New Parchment Street sculpture is flying high

The Kite Flyer in Parchment StreetParchment Street in Winchester is now home to the city’s newest landmark, the Kite Flyer.

The installation took place on Sunday 5 April at the junction of Parchment Street and St George's Street.

Created by sculptor Marzia Colonna, the Kite Flyer is a bronze figure of a young man joyfully flying a gilded kite whilst walking across a bridge which spans Parchment Street at a height of nearly 6 metres. The bridge was constructed locally by Denmead's Metal Art Design foundry in the Winchester District.

The commission came in response to Parchment Street businesses' quest to attract more trade to explore and appreciate the street's range of independent shops, restaurants and cafes - already a favourite with many local people.

Winchester City Council, with partnership funding from the Business Improvement District (BID), has managed the commission in collaboration with the Parchment Street traders and residents.

Marzia Colonna was selected following national advertising, and an exhibition of shortlisted artists' work in the Parchment Street Business Centre.

Marzia, originally from Italy and now living in Dorset, is an Associate Member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. She said: " To me flying a kite represents "time out". With the Kite Flyer of Parchment Street I have tried to say: look up, watch a kite fly, reconnect with the simpler side of life and the pleasure it brings."

Lawson Bell, of Bell Fine Art in Parchment Street is delighted with the commission, and commented:

"I'm eagerly looking forward to the Kite Flyer being installed. In conjunction with the smart new block paving on the pavement and road, we hope that it will draw locals and visitors to Winchester across St George's street in ever increasing numbers to discover the wealth of independent shops on our street."

Ros Liddiard, a Parchment Street resident, added:

“ We are very impressed with the Kite Flyer project. Congratulations on an inspiring achievement. The work gives Winchester another interesting focal point and, certainly, Parchment Street now has an individual identity. The sculpture, itself, is charismatic and very elegant. I’m very proud to be living in Parchment Street.“

Cllr George Beckett, Leader of the City Council and Board Member of the Winchester BID, added:

"Winchester City Council is committed to supporting the economy, and retail is a key sector for the Winchester District. We also know that Winchester's attractive streets, which already boast many fine examples of public art, are an important element of a successful economy. This project has enabled us to reinforce Winchester's reputation as a creative centre, whilst providing an innovative approach to improving business for the much-valued businesses of Parchment Street."

The new landmark adds to the city's fine collection of sculptures such as Sir Hamo Thornycroft’s King Alfred, Elisabeth Frink's Horse and Rider, and Antony Gormley's Sound II in the Cathedral crypt.