At the heart of Falkirk’s new Helix park, a reinvented green space to the west of Grangemouth oil refinery, stand two thirty-metre high statues. They are horses’ (Kelpies’) heads, the first bowed in a submissive, calm gesture, the second with muzzle pointed to the sky. Sculptor Andy Scott created these majestic pieces of public art as a tribute to the working horses of Scotland’s industrial heritage. They opened in April 2014 with a spectacular event orchestrated by Uz Arts who commissioned pyrotechnic and lighting specialists Groupe F. The performance breathed a sense of dynamism into the sculptures leading to a series of questions about the complexion of the palimpsestic Scottish landscape, the intertwining of urban industrial and wild, untamed nature, and the relationship between Scotland’s past and future, a vital enquiry in this year of referendum. This review aims to address these questions.
Warden, C. (2014). Home: the celebratory opening of the Kelpies at Helix Park, Falkirk. Scottish Journal of Performance, 1(2), pp. 9–16.