“Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.” —W.C. Fields (1880-1946)
During the early spring the office workers who use Bryant Park as their lunchroom had some horsy company. The Kelpies were in town, prancing on the Park’s Fountain Terrace.
The 15-foot-high models were an arresting sight as I walked up Sixth Avenue. I was delighted to see them. It was great serendipity. At a scale of 1:10 to the original, The Kelpies models carry with them all the energy and beauty of the two 100-foot-tall original horse heads. The full-sized versions are located at the center of the 900-acre Helix Parkland in Falkirk, Scotland.
The Kelpies celebrate the breed of fantastical horses, each possessing the strength of 10 that were used as an analogy for the effort that led to Scotland’s inland development. They were sculpted by Scotland’s leading public artist, Andy Scott. These maquettes, as the scale models are called, served as the backdrop to music and other events during Tartan Week, New York’s celebration of all things Scottish. It was held from April 4th through the 8th of 2014.
As one horse rears his head and the other is at rest; this contrast creates a dramatic sense of motion. Made from hundreds of small pieces of steel plate welded together, The Kelpies were then galvanized. This process involved dipping the sculptures in a bath of molten zinc. The full-scale sculptures are among the largest equine works of art in the world. Bryant Park officials worked with the American-Scottish Foundation, headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, to bring The Kelpies to the Park.
The Kelpies were on view from March 21 to April 22 of 2014. The early spring light was ideal. It was a perfect time for photo taking. The leaves on the trees in and around the park had not yet shown up, allowing sunlight to pour through onto the noble beasts.
Take a look at the website for the originals; the photos are spectacular!