Story: Jon Dallow
Photo: Richard Belbin
A new ‘Boy and Bird’ sculpture can be seen waving at you as you travel down Rutland Road, prompting some phone calls to find out what it all means.
The bird of prey looks like a kestrel, as often seen hovering over the cliffs at Parkwood Springs near the ski village, although tales also exist of men flying falcons on the site in their youth.
Sheffield artist Jason Thomson worked with local children and the Parkwood Springs Group to develop a new sculpture in cast iron, which rusts to a distinctive colour.
The tree root the bird perches on harks back to the 17th century when the sculpture would have been in what was then called ‘Cook’s Wood’. The word ‘spring’ in ‘Parkwood Springs’ has nothing to do with water but lots to do with the old woodlands.
The boy’s gloved hand raises yet more discussion. Is he off to play cricket – or be a goalie? Maybe it’s a work glove from the old factories like Stanley Tools, that used to line Rutland Road?
Best bet – go and have a look yourself and make your own mind up. Whilst you’re there, take five minutes to follow the footpath up the hill, where you will find a bench at the top and a fantastic view across the city.
It is hoped the sculpture will become a much-loved local landmark and is part of the ongoing work at Parkwood Springs.
Jason Thomson’s previous work has included the ‘steel man’ near the Parkway at Bowden Housteads woods and the ‘old man of the woods’ at the back of Firth Park clock tower.