Week 21 | 21. Industrial

The Kelpies is a sculpture that stands almost 100 feet tall and sits on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal near the River Carron close to Falkirk, Scotland. These amazing scuptures were designed by artist Andy Scott who says “The original concept of mythical water horses was a valid starting point for the artistic development of the structures.”[7] He also said that he “took that concept and moved with it towards a more equine and contemporary response, shifting from any mythological references towards a socio-historical monument intended to celebrate the horse’s role in industry and agriculture as well as the obvious association with the canals as tow horses”.[7] In 2008 Scott created three-metre-high (that’s about 10 feet) miniature versions in his Glasgow studio. These were then scanned by lasers to help the steel fabricators create accurate full-scale components.[8]

According to Scott the end result would be “Water-borne, towering gateways into The Helix, the Forth and Clyde Canal and Scotland, translating the legacy of the area into proud equine guardians“.[9]

Next to the sculpture is an inscription – a tribute to the horses that worked the canal towing boats.

Echo the great beasts that work among us
          unbridled in this kingdom between canal and firth
                     here to harness the river
                                   carry each weary traveller.

Bow down your strong heads to taste the water
           Stretch up your long necks to face the sun.

And should you think that these amazing creations are not very industrial, below if a time-lapse video of the build.

The Kelpies from The Helix on Vimeo.

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