The recent modifications to the Gynack Memorial Gardens incorporate provision for a sculpture/art project. The pre-planning process has taken well over a year, including considerable research to look at options and to request feedback from community representative groups and public sector stakeholders. On the strength of the feedback received a planning application has now been submitted.
What is being proposed is a public artwork as part of the transformational town centre initiative. As a community group we believe this will provide a strong visual focal point that will help put Kingussie on the map. After much debate within KCDC and taking into account community feedback we are proposing to commission nationally acclaimed Scottish sculptor Kevin Paxton of Artfe.
Why this design?
This will be an aesthetically attractive sculpture, which will make a strong visual impact at the north end of the garden and for those driving through the town. The Thistle design has a strong association with the Highlands, but more importantly the sculptor will incorporate Shinty Camans into the design itself making it very specific to Kingussie.
The sculptor Kev Paxton from ArtFe is a Scottish based blacksmith using centuries old blacksmithing techniques; ArtFe creates beautiful bespoke sculptures for private buyers, commercial businesses and public commissions. The sculptures are primarily made from mild steel, though occasionally other mediums such as recycled plough metal, wood and glass are incorporated. Modern techniques like galvanising and acid washing create individual and enduring finishes. The artist has suggested we use recycled metal collected from in and around the vicinity of Kingussie, giving the piece an even stronger association with Kingussie.
Planning permission is next critical stage, allowing further development of this project. We recognise the importance of taking our community with us and look forward to sharing developments and taking on board feedback as we develop the indicative design into a final sculpture. We have also yet to receive formal permission from the landowner: Highland Council.
We have also contacted Kingussie High School art department who are keen to get involved with the project.
An example of an ArtFe thistle sculpture is shown below: