Late in 2014, I had the good fortune to meet and photograph an artist whose reputation is becoming as big as the work he is making.
Andy Scott, the sculptor who created the magnificent Kelpies which dominate the landscape near Falkirk, is also responsible for a number of other public commissions which are dotted around central Scotland. When I first visited his studio, a cavernous shed in a Maryhill industrial estate, he was working on his latest creation, a commemorative statue to all those who had lost their lives in the service of the Scottish steel industry.
My personal involvement in this story was relevant and timely: I had just finished a body of work about the iconic Ravenscraig hot strip mill, which had dominated Scotland’s industrial landcsape from its construction in the late 1950s until its premature and controversial closure in 1992. I had revisited the site of the former steel mill to discover what had become of the place and people who had worked there. The project, entitled The Fall and Rise of Ravenscraig was exhibited as part of Document Scotland’s Common Ground show at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow in 2014.
With almost symbiotic timing, Andy was designing his statue, the making of which I documented through the following winter and spring. Steel Man was unveiled at a moving ceremony in June 2015 on a small patch of land which once housed part of the gigantic Ravenscraig steel mill.
It is a fitting commemoration to those who gave so much in the service of Scotland and a wonderful and iconic piece of contemporary art.
Andy Scott in his studio. Photograph © Colin McPherson, 2014 all rights reserved.
Scottish sculptor Andy Scott, working on his latest piece of public art, a memorial statue to men who lost their lives in the Scottish steel industry, at his workshop in Maryhill, Glasgow. Scott was best known for his twin horse sculptures entitled the Kelpies, which are located on the Forth and Clyde canal at Falkirk in central Scotland. The memorial to the steel men had a proposed completion date of spring 2015 and will be sited at Ravenscraig in Lanarkshire, on the site of Europe’s largest former hot strip mill, which closed in 1992.