Today, (Tuesday, 9 June), The Kelpies maquettes return home to Glasgow’s west end as part of an exhibition in the West End Festival (WEF), running from 9- 25 June at the Kibble Palace.
The 10 foot horses heads artwork was hand-crafted by renowned Scottish sculptor Andy Scott at his Maryhill workshop. They acted as models to create the world’s largest equine sculpture, The Kelpies, which is the 100ft high centrepiece of the new 350 hectare Helix Park in Falkirk and forms a dramatic gateway to the new section of the Forth and Clyde Canal.
The maquettes will be the main feature of the G20 heritage exhibition, which has been designed to launch ‘The Friends of Queen Margaret Drive’ and start fundraising for the conservation of the Queen Margaret Drive footpath. In addition to the Kelpies, the exhibition includes pieces from the Rennie Mackintosh society, The Maryhill Burgh Halls, Scottish Canals plus local conservation groups.
The original concept for The Kelpies was to celebrate the role of horses in both industry and agriculture, as well as their role as tow horses for boats along the Forth and Clyde canal. The Kelpies maquettes have travelled around the world and appeared at major events including New York’s Scotland Week, the 2014 Ryder Cup and this year’s Grand National and Scottish Cup Final. However, this is the first time they have come ‘home’ to the G20 postcode area where they were made.
Following the success of Festival Sunday and the WEF parade which saw thousands of people flood the streets of the west end, the G20 heritage exhibition is an event of cultural significance. The celebrated WEF is the perfect platform to welcome home these globally recognised symbols of Scottish craftsmanship.
Rhonda Fraser, chair of QMD Traders Association commented: “The G20 Heritage Exhibition demonstrates Queen Margaret Drives unique position in connecting the amazing Conservation projects throughout the Maryhill postcode with the world famous Botanic Gardens.”
With over 400 events in over 80 venues across the west end, there is something for everyone, including children, with many of the events free to attend. The 20th WEF is geared up to be the biggest and best yet!
Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, Cllr Adrian Mahoney said: “The Kelpies maquettes have travelled all over the world acting as cultural ambassadors for Scotland and we’re proud to deliver them back to their birthplace for one of the country’s most celebrated festivals. We hope their presence will help make a difference to a local cause and encourage more people to visit the Falkirk area to see the magnificent Kelpies landmark for themselves.”
Full event listings via westendfestival.co.uk