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A sense of deep personal legacy has informed my thinking from the outset, with old family connections anchoring me to the project,” he writes in his artist’s statement about The Kelpies.
In the industrial history of the Falkirk/Grangemouth area he found a way to blend the story of working horses and the ideas come down in myth.
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They are located in eastern Scotland, in the central belt region, between the towns of Falkirk and Grangemouth — and they stand one hundred feet high.
They form a centerpiece of The Helix, a parkland with trails for cycling and walking which connect many communities in the area.
Over time, however, he found himself drawn to the idea of the working horse.
“Falkirk was my father’s home town and that inherited link to the town has been one of my driving inspirations.
The Kelpies, though, have become a draw for visitors from all over the world.
The horse goes back in legend in Scotland, as well.
One of those legends is the source for the name of the sculptures: kelpies, in legend, were waterhorses — that was one of their forms, anyway, as they could and did take many shapeshifting ways.
For good or ill, as friend or foe to humans involved in these tales, the kelpie most often returned eventually to the form of the waterhorse.
Andy Scott, the artist who designed The Kelpies, had both these ideas in mind as he began to consider what he would create.The working horse goes back long through history in Scotland, from horses as partners in farm work to companions in battle to main ways of transport over distances long and short.