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An Elephant for Glasgow

Posted: 04 Sep 2015 08:13 AM PDT

The Weir Group PLC, working in partnership with Scottish artist Kenny Hunter and House for an Art Lover in Glasgow, Scotland, have unveiled a life-size Asian elephant - cast in part from scrap locomotive parts - on the site of the 1938 Empire Exhibition in the city's Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park.

A year in the making, the 11 tonne elephant is part of the Legacy 2014 project and commemorates the city’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games last year.  It has been created in part using now redundant and scrap locomotive parts made in the shipyards of nearby Govan and exported to the Commonwealth.  

The Elephant has a direct connection to the countries where many of the trains were deployed, such as India, Pakistan, Kenya and South Africa – either as a form of transport or a creature of symbolic power.

The public artwork will be located at ground level on the site of the famous 1938 Empire Exhibition in Bellahouston Park – one of the city’s main parks - where it will gaze down towards Govan and the Clyde – Glasgow’s former artery to the world.

Kenny Hunter, said:  "I have really enjoyed being part of this project and after 2 years in the planning and making, it's great to see the sculpture finally sited in Bellahouston Park.  I hope the local community and visitors to the Glasgow's south side become aware and fond of this new landmark." 

The project was supported by The Weir Group who cast the elephant at their foundry in Todmorden, Yorkshire.

William Mannion, Operations Director of Weir Minerals Europe Todmorden, said:  “Weir exhibited at the Empire Exhibition in 1938 and as a Glasgow-based global engineering business, we have operations in many Commonwealth countries.  We were therefore delighted to help turn Kenny Hunter’s and the House for An Art Lover’s exciting concept into reality.  As engineers, we always like a challenge and creating a life-sized Asian elephant is one of the more unusual requests we’ve had, but we are delighted it has been such a success.”

Garry Sanderson, CEO, House for an Art Lover, said:  “We are thrilled to be unveiling the elephant and hope that it will become a new landmark for the south side.  It’s a celebration of our city’s strength and contribution to industrial and cultural developments across the Commonwealth and a reminder of the very successful Commonwealth Games the city hosted in 2014.  We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to this new public artwork in Bellahouston Park.” 

Watch a film of the elephant being created below.


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