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Scarecrows stand out

PUBLISHED: 15:33 20 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:42 23 August 2010

PRESENTATION: Päivi Seppälä collected the prize from Janet Street-Porter and Andrew Blevins managing director of Liberty Property Trust.

PRESENTATION: Päivi Seppälä collected the prize from Janet Street-Porter and Andrew Blevins managing director of Liberty Property Trust.

THE mysterious overnight appearance of scarecrow-like figures at several locations has won a top art award at an evening hosted by Janet Street-Porter. Hei People won the prestigious Rouse Kent Public Art Award 2009, with the artist Reijo Kela claiming t

WINNER: Hei People by Reijo Kela.

THE mysterious overnight appearance of scarecrow-like figures at several locations has won a top art award at an evening hosted by Janet Street-Porter.

Hei People won the prestigious Rouse Kent Public Art Award 2009, with the artist Reijo Kela claiming the £7,000 prize fund at the event at Kings Hill Golf Club.

A total of 646 dressed figures made from straw, wood and dirt were displayed in a wheatfield at Barrett's Folly Farm in Shorne; at Fort Amherst in Chatham and at Cowstead Farm on the Isle of Sheppey.

Speaking last Thursday, the journalist and television presenter said: "Judges were impressed by the way the work engaged the public both in a rural and urban context and combined a sense of magic and mystery with a feeling of fun."

The award is judged every two years by Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd and Kent County Council.

Päivi Seppälä, project manager for the winner collected the award.

A project spokesperson said: "Early in the morning and late at night the figures appeared motionless, but in daylight they came alive and with the setting sun presented a bright and joyous picture.

"When the wind blew, their hay hair and clothes flapped rhythmically as if they had suddenly sprung to life."

Runner-up was Plotlands by Clio Barnard, a film and book marking the demise of the plotland community on the Seasalter Marshes. Breaking Boundaries part of Ashford's £15 million 'shared space' highway scheme and ]AND HERE, a film of north Kent's industrial and urban environment were both highly commended.

The commissioner, North Kent Local Authorities Arts Partnership (NKLAAP), received £5,000 and the Rouse Chair, designed by Kent artist Will Glanfield, to keep for two years. The runner up artist received £3,000.


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