A CHILDREN’S hospice will be marking its 30th anniversary with an event in Lister Park, Bradford, tomorrow.

Martin House Hospice is celebrating its third decade by touring a huge inflatable, interactive piece of art around various venues. It will make its first appearance at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, before moving to a number of other local venues in the coming weeks.

The Butterfly and The Bird is an inflatable sculpture that also incorporates animation, and is designed to be an interactive and multi-use space. It includes the work of around 300 children from Yorkshire, including pupils from Farnham Primary School, Straford Road, and Eldwick Primary School in Bingley.

As well as helping design the dome, the children created their own animations that will be projected into the feature, and shown at future events organised by the hospice.

Martin House, in Boston Spa, is used by many Bradford families. It supports over 420 children and young people each year.

The name of the piece comes from the hospice’s logo - a butterfly to symbolise the beautiful but short lives of the children who use it, and the bird referring to the house martins that nested there and gave the hospice its name.

The idea for an artistic piece to mark the anniversary came from Alison Wragg, senior community fundraiser at Martin House. It has been created by Sheffield-based artist Sarah Jane Palmer who devised the idea of an inflatable sculpture and animation. It was produced by Spacecadets Air Design, based in Todmorden.

Tomorrow’s free event at Cartwright Hall will run from 11am to 3pm. Children will be able to create their own pieces of art in the gallery, which they can then hang up in the dome, which will become a pop-up gallery for the day.

Mrs Palmer said: “Martin House wanted something that could be a sculpture, but something that would also raise awareness and could be taken into the community. I immediately thought of an inflatable structure, because it is portable and has multiple uses.

“The animation is a really simple way of bringing pupils together. Each child has their own piece of artwork, and each one is different, but they come together to make up the whole. It became very much a collaboration between Martin House families and pupils, with me as an artist facilitating that. It felt really important that it wasn’t so much an artist commission, but a collaboration between everybody.”

After the event at Cartwright Hall, the Butterfly and the Bird will be at Delius Arts and Cultural Centre on Great Horton Road on August 23 and the United Reformed Church in Saltaire, as part of Saltaire Festival on September 16 and 17.