TWO new public art pieces have been installed on a Test Valley roundabout, displaying the very own hands of the local community.

Commissioned artist Martin Heron worked with several schools who contributed their hands to the blue and yellow structures, which are now placed on either side of Brownhill Way roundabout near the M271.

Pupils drew their hands and bird shapes during workshops and sent them off to the artist, who put together their drawings to form the finished products.

Funded by the Section 106 agreement of Test Valley Borough Council - which lays out the terms and conditions for affordable housing - Brownhill Way’s Lidl store paid for the installed art work as part of their planning permission.

Alongside organisers and councillors, Nursling Primary School, The Cedar School, Rownhams St Johns Primary School and Oasis Lord’s Hill School were all invited to the grand launch of the artistic piece, where students tried to find their own hand drawings on the sculptures - which have collectively been named The Nursling Murmurings.

The sculptures were made out of steel and coated in zinc to avoid rusting, with polyurethane paint over the top.

Test Valley Borough Council art officer Faye Perkins, who helped to organise the project, said: “We thought of a theme from the information we knew about the area in terms of archaeology and wildlife, which is important and relevant.

“We wrote up a brief and put it out for artists to apply. Martin's idea and experience allowed the project to run really smoothly, and with schools being here today, it clearly shows they have had a really good time.”

Artist Martin Heron, from Nottingham, said: “I was offered to be the artist after Test Valley Borough Council commissioned me after going through a selection process.

“The sculpture marks the idea that everybody is coming together to celebrate the history and wildlife in the area, and although 90 percent of what I do are public art projects, I have never produced anything like this before.”

He added: “I used every hand received but lost track of how many there were around the 380-hand mark.”

Teaching Assistant Su Mukherjee, who works at Rownhams St Johns Primary School, said: "It's really nice to see the children's own work in a structure."

Chairman for Nursling and Rownhams Parish Council and Councillor Phil Bundy said: “Everyone contributed and they all honestly had a hand in it. We can appreciate the public art now and we thank schools for contributing to the landmark feature.”