Falkirk, Scotland, UK. 100ft high - stainless steel on painted mild steel substructure. Two colossal steel horses heads alongside the Forth and Clyde canal with the backdrop of the Ochil Hills of central Scotland.
This location marks the water lock at the junction of two canals. The artworks were inspired by the prominent role heavy horses played in the industrial heritage of the local area and the canals. The Kelpies are part of the Helix Park, a regeneration development on previous industrial land.
Many years and many people were involved to realise this landmark project. Scottish Canals initiated the project and with Falkirk Council they have been a supportive client. A very close and collaborative relationship was developed with the engineering team at Atkins. They studied Andy's 10ft high maquettes and translated these to technical drawings for SH structure who pre-fabricated the different parts. MG Site management assembled all the parts on site into the full scale sculptures. And architect Jacqui Nicol from Gleeds oversaw this whole project from beginning to end. Her critical eye and organisation skills have been key to the successful delivery of the project.
This landmark public artwork has attracted almost four million visitors since their inauguration in April 2014 and have hosted HM Queen Elizabeth, The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH Princess Anne. The sculptures have received widespread critical acclaim, created jobs, become tourism icons, generated an ongoing growth for the local economy and inspired a vigorous renewed sense of pride and identity for the region.
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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