Project team:

Sculpture design: Andy Scott
Lighting design: Lightfolio Ltd. – Reg Gove;
Internal realisation and 3D rendering: ElektoLED – Adam Knight;
External realisation and 3D rendering: Lightfolio Ltd.

11. Feb 2015

Monuments with meaning

Text: Alison + Joachim Ritter
Photos: Ben Williams

When does a story give rise to a myth, and maybe lend a monument meaning? Is it simply a case of the name, a successful design, or the real history behind the monument? The lighting for The Kelpies in Scotland is based on a design concept that resulted from discussions between the lighting designer and the sculptor. All in all, a fine example of the misunderstandings and automatic responses that can arise when appreciating art in the public realm.

Everything today is fast. Fast information, fast communication, fast processing, fast food… What we lack is time. Time to relax or pursue hobbies, but also time to digest – to digest all the fast information we receive, store it in our good old memory banks and use it purposefully and wisely when communicating with others. When you first see images of The Kelpies, you are inevitably astounded by the drama they emanate, stunned by the size of the sculptures and the impact they have after dark, and enthralled to hear that kelpies are mythical creatures. First newspaper reports waxed lyrical about Scotland’s latest landmark, or the spectacle the huge horses’ heads create, especially after dark. The Kelpies are known as horse-shaped water spirits that feature in Scottish myths and legends and stand for the rugged highland landscape and nature. And yet the idea behind the creation of this sculpture has completely different origins. When an artist is commissioned to design a work of art for a specific site, before embarking on any creative work he will inevitably carry out an analysis of the site and its history, and determine who the audience is likely to be. Added to that will be the artist’s own take on the “job” and how he can bring his own interpretations, thoughts and message into the work, which is after all an extension of his own being. In the case of The Kelpies, which now stand in Falkirk next to a new extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal, Andy Scott not only had family connections to Falkirk. Scott’s sculptures are steel constructions on an architectural scale. His figurative sculptures, some of which are up to 30 metres in height, combine traditional skills with contemporary fabrication techniques.[…]


The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 96

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