The Hawk has landed on The Rochdale Canal in Mytholmroyd

Posted: 3.09.13

A cast iron hawk, sculpted by Kenny Hunter and cast by Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax, has been installed today on the side of the Rochdale Canal.

The hawk began her journey this morning from the foundry before being carefully winched into place by the installation team.

Kenny has been inspired by the work of former Poet Laureate Ted Hughes who was born in Mytholmroyd and spent his formative childhood years in the fields and woods around the town. The piece takes inspiration not only from the poem but also from the local place names, ‘Hawks Clough” and “Red Acre Wood”. “Hawk Roosting” is one of Ted Hughes’s best-loved poems and describes very honestly the raw side of nature. It is a very accessible yet complex poem with many possible interpretations. Kenny Hunter says

‘What ultimately made the subject of the Hawk irresistible to me was hearing a memory from Ted Hughes’ childhood friend Donald Crossley, on my visit to Mytholmroyd. He told me how he and Ted had seen a Hawk holding a bird in its claws in Red Acre Wood, when they were small boys, and this event directly informed the poem. I believe this work can simultaneously reveal the site’s industrial and natural heritage alongside honouring the work of Poet Laureate Ted Hughes.’

Pennine Prospects has allocated funding from the South Pennines Leader programme for the project and commissioned Kenny Hunter to design the sculpture. In the following weeks an interpretation panel will be positioned canalside to increase the amount of information available to canal and towpath users. This is being designed by a team of artists and designers from Hebden Bridge including Jane Revitt and Andy Plant. They have been consulting widely with canal experts, historians, local residents and members of the Elmet Trust, who look after Ted Hughes’ poetic legacy, all to ensure the information reflects the area accurately.

The hawks journey this morning;

Yorkshire Water United Utilities Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council National Farmers Union
South Pennines Association Lancashire County Council Pennine Heritage Kirklees Council Calderdale Council
Bradford District Council Northern Rail Natural England Environment Agency The National Trust