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I'm an arts journalist & PR consultant living and working in Scotland. I've been a journalist for more than 25 years. I write a regular column for Scottish quality newspaper, The Herald. I deliver a PR service with an arty bent and work on a consultancy basis with arts organisations, including Scotland's leading creative industries festival, XpoNorth & broadcast support body, ScreenHI. I am currently co-writing a book about the celebrated Scots artist, George Wyllie, with his daughter Louise. Instrumental in making a celebration of his life's work happen in 2012. For more information, see www.georgewyllie.com When I'm not being a mum/working, I talk to my dog. He laps it up. Contact me on janpatience@me.com (All work © Jan Patience)

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Andy Scott's giant Kelpies @ Helix Project, Falkirk


I interviewed the sculptor Andy Scott last winter on a beautifully crisp winter's day in his workshop in Maryhill, Glasgow.

Andy's best known work is the giant heavy horse as you drive along the M8 and into Glasgow but he has works of public art all over the world.

I'm particularly fond of the wee sculpture of kids playing outside Faifley and the people of Ulster obviously love his Thanksgiving Square Beacon in Belfast as it's just been voted by them as their favourite piece of public art.
Standing over 60 feet tall in the heart of Belfast, the sculpture marks the regeneration of a city with a troubled past.


When I met him last year, Andy had been working on the maquettes (scale models) of the giant kelpies which will ultimately take their place at the heart of a full-length canal extension from the existing Forth & Clyde canal down to a new Sea Lock on the River Carron.

What a sight for sore eyes they were glistening in the strong northern light. It looked for all the world like a stable for giant silver horses, with their heads poking out looking to see what was going on in the yard outside.

Kelpies are mythical Scottish horses which roamed our ancient waters (allegedly) and Andy's innate skill as a draghtsman has brought them to life they perhaps never had...

The upgrade and expansion of the local canal network is an integral part of The Helix, which will create a new community greenspace on 300 hectares of under-used land between Falkirk and Grangemouth. Work begins early next year and the local community is going to be heavily involved in this visionary project.

The canal extension will also see the creation of a new culvert which will take the canal and its towpath under the M9 and into a specially constructed turning pool near canal Lock 2 where the Kelpies will be positioned.

This new Kelpie lock will link directly into the existing Carron mooring basin. One of the Kelpies will move to displace the water required to operate the canal lock.

Both Kelpies will face in a south-easterly direction, showing them off to their best advantage and also making them easier to access on foot.

So, in five years time, if you're driving in the Falkirk area and two giant horses hove into view, don't panic. They're pretty tame beasts.

For more about Andy Scott, see: http://andyscottpublicart.co.uk/

1 comment:

  1. Love the horse sculpture. Has he got any work further south?

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