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Falkirk’s Kelpies debut amidst blaze of sound and light

April 22 2014

Falkirk’s Kelpies debut amidst blaze of sound and light
Falkirk’s Kelpies sculptures have galloped past the starting line following a weekend sound and light display intended to trumpet the opening of the outdoor art installation to tourists.

Guided tours are now being offered of the Andy Scott designed beasts, which are expected to draw as many as 350,000 visitors a year to the £5m structures and surrounding Helix Park.

The steel landmarks constitute the largest equine sculpture in the world and cost £5m to build, part of a wider regeneration effort for the area which seeks to capitalise on the canal network to draw more boating traffic to the town.


The Bairn
#1 Posted by The Bairn on 22 Apr 2014 at 14:31 PM
anyone care to explain how they intend to compensate for the 300 tonnes of steel and vast quantities of concrete foundations which created an appallingly high carbon footprint....? didn't think so!!..... what next a 'My Little Pony' stable block to entice even more visitors to an uninteresting part of town....Falkirk Council hang your collective heads in shame. Just imagine how much good you could have down with £43 million actually building things people crave for like affordable homes and schools fit for purpose.
Rant over.
Big Chantelle
#2 Posted by Big Chantelle on 22 Apr 2014 at 22:07 PM
@The Bairn

Erm, what's with all this eco warrior mumbo jumbo. The horses are stunning. End. of.
The Bairn
#3 Posted by The Bairn on 23 Apr 2014 at 10:36 AM
and I take it Big Chantelle will be showing off her Kelpie tattoos in tribute sometime soon ...
Walt Disney
#4 Posted by Walt Disney on 23 Apr 2014 at 13:14 PM
The bairn....I take it you are an eco friendly Falkirk taxi driver as this is the usual chat I get when I fall out of BTW on a Saturday night.....What a waste of money eh? They could have build hooses and hoaspitals wi aw that money eh? Ken? There's bairns wi nae shoes in Limerigg eh?
The Bairn
#5 Posted by The Bairn on 23 Apr 2014 at 14:27 PM
#4 ....FYI unlike you I have over 35 years experience as an architectural professional. In the cold light of day probably with too much honesty and common sense for people like you...maybe falling out of pubs and into taxis has slightly skewed your judgement of Falkirk and its inhabitants. Happy clapper you may be at present but when you achieve maturity you will realise your own shortcomings. Have a nice day.
The Dooman
#6 Posted by The Dooman on 25 Apr 2014 at 13:04 PM
The Kelpies are a superb piece of art and should be judged on that, not on their carbon footprint.
The Cynic
#7 Posted by The Cynic on 25 Apr 2014 at 13:47 PM
The Bairn - by your clever description as "an architectural professional", I assume you are not an Architect? Not that it's the only way to have an appreciation of art, but your carbon footprint/poor homeless rant is a bit skewed. Is that why you cannot appreciate the importance of investment in high quality public art at the expense of other "more deserving" cases? We need the balance and everyone's world will be a bit richer for it. 'moan the Kelpies!
The Bairn
#8 Posted by The Bairn on 25 Apr 2014 at 14:30 PM
#6 we don't live in Texas so bigger aint better
#7 ..sounds like you are an architect with pretentions to be an artist....when you gaily go about your business try thinking of those less well off than you ... public art does not mean public decency ...this gross expensive shiny thing will quickly loose its appeal when the 'tourists' leave and the council has to maintain it (and its surroundings) over and beyond its lifecycle thus draining ever decreasing council budgets for years to come....not clever eh?... oh wait.... I forgot after independence the oil and gas revenue means we are all going to be richer so we can afford these white elephants/horses!!
The Bairn
#9 Posted by The Bairn on 25 Apr 2014 at 14:46 PM
and another you think there is any truth in the rumour running through the Scottish Parliament that after a 18th September pro Yes vote they will be replaced anyway by a brace of fish a salmon and the other a sturgeon...just saying...LOL
#10 Posted by Stephen on 25 Apr 2014 at 16:46 PM
Afraid I'm with the Bairn on this one. Total waste of good steel. These are atrocious. Andy Scott is a craftsman, not an artist in my eyes. What great questions artistic enquiry is there in a couple of massive horses heads? Same old 'council wants public art centre-piece' rubbish. Council box ticked and nobody can come back at the spending because 'art is in the eye of the beholder'....
cat flap
#11 Posted by cat flap on 25 Apr 2014 at 17:01 PM
@The Bairn - embarrassed for you
#12 Posted by Dave32 on 25 Apr 2014 at 18:20 PM
Another embarrassment to public art, this lacks any critical merit, Who was the curator/consultant that encouraged Falkirk council that the Disney Theme Park approach was the right way to entice visitors or think about public art? If its about being populous surely a football player or baby kitten would have more appeal and have as much relevance. I wonder culturally exactly how important were Kelpies to Falkirk does it warrant memorialising? where the are we going as a nation, does every town, shopping centre, motorway need a shiny Andy Scott horse or the like?
The Bairn
#13 Posted by The Bairn on 25 Apr 2014 at 20:12 PM
#11 - another council employee writing during office hours are we?
As a piece of artistry these are clever and Mr Scott does not need my praise as he gets copious amounts already. Is everyone missing the point that they are grossly oversized and do not make a piece of nondescript land a tourist attraction.
The Helix 'project' comprises Water, Grass, Steel ...with an obscene price tag. And not forgetting the obligatory café/shop for tatty mementos of the visit. 30 metres high blots on the landscape. I much prefer the smaller versions shown in New York myself.
David Wilson
#14 Posted by David Wilson on 25 Apr 2014 at 21:51 PM
@TheBairn - wandering off into some anti-independence rant, why ? Maybe your next post should question where the steel came from (in a Johann Lamont style - Forth crossing - Chinese steel manner)

Could you also explain your £43m figure used in your first post ?

I can't help but think of the Angel of the North, which has had such a positive effect on the surrounding community and signalled a resurgence in the local area, and still attracts many visitors.

Then again, it was really the first of it's kind in the UK, so had the advantage of being a new phenomenon.

I suppose time will tell.
#15 Posted by bonvivant on 25 Apr 2014 at 23:37 PM
In fairness the big Kelpies look fine at 70mph from the motorway. For a photo op, go see the small ones at the Falkirk Wheel.
Art Vandelay
#16 Posted by Art Vandelay on 26 Apr 2014 at 08:46 AM
My, the joyless ones really are out in force on this thread, aren't they?
The Bairn
#17 Posted by The Bairn on 26 Apr 2014 at 19:02 PM
#14 please read this extract from the website which gives the whole background to the Helix project which the kelpies are only part of....
The Helix will be a Living Landmark, providing a world class visitor destination paired with a world class piece of public art - The Kelpies. This 350ha space will be used by local, regional and national visitors as a place to be healthy, to explore, to grow and to learn.

With a total budget worth £43 million, we will deliver significant infrastructure improvements, including reconnecting the Forth & Clyde Canal to the Forth River via a major new canal extension to a more suitable part of the River Carron.

Our funding partners include: BIG Lottery, Scottish Canals, SCORE, Sustrans, Falkirk Environment Trust & Falkirk Council.
#18 Posted by CoffeeJunkie on 30 Apr 2014 at 11:47 AM
The Kelpies cost £5 Million out of the 43 Million. Just to make things clear as The Bairn seems to have sensationalized the overall cost for effect to meat out his "I don't like it argument".
Alice Murdoch
#19 Posted by Alice Murdoch on 23 Sep 2014 at 15:09 PM
Fantastic work of art. I haven't seen it the dark,but I am sure it's even better. Love it

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