The Sheffield Visual Arts Group started by campaigning to keep opportunities to see great pieces of art available to everyone. On our journey we have pointed out that art is worth involvement for its own sake and it also has great economic value. Sheffield’s festivals and exhibitions make a large contribution to the economy of the city and enhance its reputation throughout the world.
This year I spent some time in Scotland and went to see an art work which has quickly become an icon for the country – “The Kelpies”. These are two 30 metre high horse-head statues next to a new extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal. They are part of a project called the “The Helix”, which is a new parkland built to connect 16 communities in the Falkirk Council Area, Scotland.
The Kelpies are an excellent example of art being used to enhance an area. They are a huge tourist attraction as well as offering local people a leisure facility and employment. Separating the two statues is a new canal lock linked to a turning pool. All this is part of the UK’s massive canal revival and are a substantial improvement to East/West canal travel in Scotland.
There is a connection with Yorkshire. The Kelpies were made here by SH Structures, who also managed the erection of the sculptures on site.
You can find out more about this project at:
But “The Kelpies” themselves are an awe inspiring sight. They hold their own with attractions such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Statue of Liberty or Deutsches Eck.
I hope you get a flavour of this from these images.
Article images copyright Robert Scott / Sheffield Visual Arts Group 2018