THE man behind Scotland’s iconic Kelpies hopes his latest giant horse head will become a permanent attraction in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
Andy Scott’s 14 ft tall chess piece has been installed in the middle of George Street under a new collaboration to the 150th anniversary of jewellers Hamilton & Inches.
The steel structure, “The Rook, has been installed outside the firm’s historic showroom and will remain on show until September. However the future of the chariot horse, which Scott has built “speculatively,” is thereafter uncertain.
The Rook is an outsized version of a piece for a vast “Game of Kings” chess set that Scott is designing for Hamilton & Inches. ts design features a feathered headdress, bridle and collar - inspired by the game’s ancient roots in Persia.
The various pieces of the set, which will be around 12 inches tall, will only be realised if the work - the cost of which is only available “on application” - is commissioned. Each hand-crafted piece of silver will be designed by Scott an “equine celebration” of the game’s characters, moves and history.
Scott said: “The partnership with Hamilton & Inches came about a few weeks months ago. They wanted to do some bespoke high-end silversmith products based on the Kelpies to mark their 150th anniversary. It was a fantastic opportunity to work with their craftsmen, who are amazing.
“During the course of our conversations, I came up with the crazy idea of doing something equine-themed, but much more bespoke. We don’t have anyone particularly in mind for the chess set at the moment - it would be a commissioned project.
“I don’t think Edinburgh City Council’s parking department would allow me to leave the sculpture there permanently. It would be lovely if they did. I’m hoping it finds a permanent home.
“We knew it was going to be going in front of Hamilton & Inches, so it’s certainly of a scale that suits the architecture on either side and the streetscape.
“I’m hoping it’ll find a good home eventually. I’d love it to stay in Edinburgh, but it’s for sale. I’m not giving it away.”
Each hand-crafted piece for the game will be based on the head and neck composition of The Kelpies, the world’s largest equine sculptures.
They have drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors to the new Helix public park in Falkirk since they were unveiled in Falkirk two years ago.
Scott, a Glasgow School of Art graduate, has created more than 70 projects around the world, including the Heavy Horse next to the M8 motorwa, and Arria, a sculpture of a female form, which overlooks the M80 motorway at Cumbernauld.