These enormous, nearly hundred-foot-high equine head sculptures sit in The Helix, a parkland project next to a canal extension in the Falkirk area.“Kelpies” refers to the Scots name for a mythological water beast which is said to inhabit lochs and pools in Scotland, and which may adopt human form but often appears as a horse. Scott, the sculptor who designed The Kelpies, built on these references and intended them to pay homage to the horse’s historical role in Scotland’s industry and agriculture. The giant heads are each constructed from approximately 300 tons of steel and are the largest pair of equine sculptures in the world.
Once we’re in the vicinity, it’s impossible to miss the statues – their size alone prevents this. In true mythic fashion, they seem to grow larger and larger until we are dwarfed standing next to them. The heads have been designed to invoke movement, and, protruding as they are from the ground, appear to be attached to unseen bodies leading a chariot up from the bowels of the earth. Though made from solid steel, the heads are porous, letting the light shine through and giving them the look of water, silvery and fluid.