Towering 30 meters (nearly 100 feet) above the ground, The Kelpies consists of a pair of enormous horse head sculptures installed by artist Andy Scott in Falkirk, Scotland. Scott spent a total of nine years designing and then assembling the sculptures on-site, crafting steel parts into intricate busts that allude to the legendary Scottish water spirit that takes the form of a horse.
When we first shared news of The Kelpies ten months ago, the project was still undergoing construction in The Helix park, but as these stunning shots by photographer dswain show us, the canal site has been transformed completely to complement the dynamic grace of the sculptures since the installation was opened to the public in April. Colorful lights around and inside the steel works illuminate their magnificent shapes in the darkness, further enhancing the beauty of the Scottish landscape.
For Scott, the project's location in his father's hometown of Falkirk, the cultural tale of kelpies, and Scotland's industrial past compelled him to take on the project as a source of national pride. “The artistic intent is built around a contemporary sculptural monument. Water-borne, towering gateways into The Helix, the Forth & Clyde canal and Scotland, translating the legacy of the area into proud equine guardians,” he says. “I see The Kelpies as a personification of local and national equine history, of the lost industries of Scotland. I also envisage them as a symbol of modern Scotland–proud and majestic, of the people and the land. They are the culmination of cutting edge technology and hand crafted artisanship, created by our country's leading experts through international partnerships.”