For Millennia, images and statues of horses have been popular. They are to found in virtually every culture throughout the world. There are statues of people riding horses that date back as far as the sixth century BC.
For thousands of years, the horse has been man’s friend and tool. Over the centuries, they have played a key role in the development of humankind. Without horses, many of the early advances in civilization would not have been possible. The strength of horses was harnessed to till the land and build cities and fortresses. Today, they are still an important part of many people’s lives, but they are now largely used for leisure.
However, that does not mean that the horse is no longer viewed as important. Even people who do not ride love them, and pay homage to them. Artwork and statues featuring horses are found practically everywhere. Many people have at least one piece of horse related art in their homes, and most public buildings have paintings or statues of horses adorning them.
However, much of that art work is small scale, so it does not really reflect the power, and energy of a horse. However, a very popular public art project looks set to change that.
The artist and sculptor Andy Parks and his team are in the process of building two kelpie maquettes from steel to adorn the Forth & Clyde canal basin. The statues are representations of the head and shoulders of two water horses, stories of which form an important part of Celtic folklore.
When finished the 30 meter high statues will tower over the canal basin. The team have already made two 3-meter high prototypes, which in themselves are very impressive. They are currently in Sheffield, outside the headquarters of the Finnish steel firm Outokumpo’s headquarters. Whether this will be their permanent home is yet to be decided, but many of Sheffield’s residents want these beautiful steel horses to stay. Outokumpo are very proud to be involved in the construction of both the 3-meter high kelpies and the 30m high ones that are currently being put together at the Helix in Falkirk, so would like to give the smaller statues a permanent home near them.