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Undertoad 02-04-2014 10:56 AM

February 3, 2014: The Kelpies

IotD previously featured the Falkirk Wheel, and now standing adjacent to the Forth and Clyde, one of the connected canals, is... The Kelpies.

These massive horse sculptures are 30 metres high and weigh over 300 tonnes. They represent Scotland's horse heritage, especially as the beasts were used to tow canal boats back in the day.

It will be open to the public in April.

Below, artist Andy Scott with two Clydesdales, which I guess The Kelpies are:

I like this shot of the M9 motorway coming across the artwork. It would be awesome to drive down the road and suddenly see this:

Aerial view video:

Kelpies website

BBC gallery

glatt 02-04-2014 11:29 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Very cool!

I like it when art and engineering coincide like this.

Attachment 46763

Clearly, some serious engineering and mathematics had to be done to make this thing a reality, but at the same time, math alone would never come up with the vision of having freaking giant horse heads popping up out of the ground near a canal.

Humans can be pretty cool when we work together.

xoxoxoBruce 02-04-2014 02:39 PM

From the Kelpies site;

This is the case with The Kelpies. The mythological associations behind the original brief have been absorbed by other sources of inspiration in the creative processes, and the ancient ethereal water spirits have been forged into engineered monuments.

The Kelpies are modelled on heavy horses and it is this theme of working horses which captured my imagination and drove the project. Clydesdales, Shires and Percherons, the equus magnus of the north. They are the embodiment of the industrial history of Scotland and the Falkirk / Grangemouth area.
As with all of my works, they will doubtless create many narratives and the original Kelpie myth will inevitably resurface. The title will spark a mystical interpretation in many viewers.
What is this mystical interpretation you speak of? From Wiki...

The fable of the kelpie varies by region. The Kelpie's mane is said to be a sky blue colour. The water horse is a common form of the kelpie, said to lure humans into the water to drown them. The water horse would encourage people to ride on its back, and once its victims fell into its trap, the water horse's skin would become adhesive and the horse would bear the victim into the river, dragging them to the bottom of the water and devouring them—except the heart or liver.

A common Scottish tale is the story of nine children lured onto a kelpie's back, while a tenth kept his distance. The kelpie chased the tenth child, but he escaped. Another more gruesome variation on this tale is that the tenth child simply stroked the kelpie's nose but, when his hand stuck to it, he took a knife from his pocket and cut his own hand off, cauterizing it with wood from a nearby fire.
Ewwww, gross. Think of the children... :haha:

Rhianne 02-04-2014 04:20 PM

The sculptures are only a few miles from me, perhaps I could post some pictures at a later date?

In the meantime...

Undertoad 02-04-2014 04:35 PM


perhaps I could post some pictures at a later date?
It would be an honor.

Griff 02-05-2014 09:36 AM

These are fantastic!

bbuilder 02-27-2014 09:54 AM

These are beautiful! I love horses - nagged my folks for one from the ages of 5-10 until they caved and I ended up with a broken arm shortly thereafter. If they hadn't gotten me a horse, I am sure I would have ended up riding the cows around the field.
These are tremendous. As the inputter of structural stuffs into a fancy-schmancy structural program, I have to say that this required a LOT of coffee. I DO love it when we humans work together on such beautiful things.

Griff 03-01-2014 08:34 AM

Well said.

Rhianne 03-26-2014 02:59 PM

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Mini Kelpies pull up in New York for Scotland Week

xoxoxoBruce 03-26-2014 05:43 PM

Those are cool, but a Scotland week? Haven't the poor New Yorkers suffered enough?

monster 03-27-2014 11:40 AM

I would love to see them. I wonder if they are intended to rust like the Angel Of the North?

limey 03-27-2014 11:57 AM

I don't think my upcoming travels are going to take me over that way ... but if I find myself in the area, I'll see what I can do for photos/video :)

Rhianne 03-27-2014 04:33 PM


Originally Posted by limey (Post 895526)
I don't think my upcoming travels are going to take me over that way ... but if I find myself in the area, I'll see what I can do for photos/video :)

I'd wait a while, the place is still a building site.

I have quite a few photos on my computer here but we didn't really have the sky for it the day I was there:

Carruthers 04-22-2015 09:10 AM

Pipers, schoolchildren and two Clydesdale horses celebrated the Kelpies sculpture's first anniversary in Falkirk.

limey 05-12-2015 03:07 AM


Originally Posted by Undertoad (Post 891947)
... It would be awesome to drive down the road and suddenly see this ...

Like this, you mean?

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