The Kelpies is an enormous installation consisting of two giant horse head sculptures by artist Andy Scott. The 100-foot-tall structures, which were eight years in the making, are inspired by a legend from the artist’s Scottish background that tells of a water spirit that takes the shape of a horse. More than just a pair of broncos to Scott, the sculptures serve as monuments of the artist’s national pride.
The location of the project in Falkirk (his father’s hometown) coupled with the cultural tale of the water-borne equine are what ultimately compelled Scott to take on the challenging and labor-intensive project. As such, he created a 1:10 scale model of the horse heads first, to perfect the structures. In the end, the final product wound up being the two towering sculptures, weighing a little over 330 tons each, with a metallic skin that reflects Scotland’s former industrial heartland.
Scott says of the structures, “They stand as a testament to the achievements of the past, a paean to artisanship and engineering and a declaration of intent for the future of Scotland.” Having completed construction and installation at The Helix at the end of 2013, The Kelpies are scheduled to be open to the public in April 2014. It’s sure to attract plenty of visitors, especially since it’s the Lunar Year of the Horse.