Horses & Art: ‘The Kelpies’

A pair of 100-foot-tall, 300-ton horse head sculptures, the tallest artworks in Scotland, are nearing completion.

Top: A computer-generated image of the finished sculptures.

The steel-plated structures, created by world-renowned artist Andy Scott, are situated beside the M9 near Falkirk. Due to be completed in October, the sculptures will be seen by thousands of passing motorists each day.

According to the website for Helix, the Scottish land transformation movement overseeing the project, the sculptures are both an homage to the “kelpie,” a supernatural water horse from Celtic folklore that is believed to haunt Scottish rivers and lochs, and a tribute to the role of working horses throughout the country’s history. Scott explains, “I see The Kelpies as a personification of local and national equine history, of the lost industries of Scotland.  I also envisage them as a symbol of modern Scotland–proud and majestic, of the people and the land.”

The horse heads will tower above the Forth & Clyde canal, forming a dramatic gateway at the eastern entrance.

Construction began on the Kelpies in June 2013. This time-lapse video demonstrates the swift progress that was made:

Go giant horse heads.


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