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Gannet gateway lands at Scottish Seabird Centre

Gannet gateway lands at Scottish Seabird Centre

This week our client, The Scottish Seabird Centre, the independent visitor attraction, conservation and education charity, has unveiled the first of two highly anticipated public art sculptures.

Diane Maclean’s winning arch design, as voted for by the public from 30 original sculpture submissions in 2011, was deemed to best establish a ‘strong sense of place and belonging while reflecting the unique heritage and environment of the historic area around the Seabird Centre’. The artwork will create a unique feature entrance to the harbour, the Centre and the historic Anchor Green in North Berwick.

Perhaps best known in Scotland for her public art works in Dundee, including the bird sculptures On The Wing at Dundee Airport and Dundee DNA, which sits on the City’s East Dock Street, Diane Maclean prides herself in working as often in Scotland as possible, given her mother is from the Black Isle and her husband’s family from Skye. However, Maclean’s popularity has seen the artist receive recent commissions from Keele University for its 50th anniversary and Ekeberg Sculpture Park in Oslo.

Maclean’s sculpture for the Scottish Seabird Centre will consist of three stainless steel gannets positioned over the arch, one taking off, one in full flight and one starting to dive. Natural light on the polished surfaces will be eye-catching. The different angles of the birds’ wings will collect light from many viewpoints and the clean curve of the arch also picks up light – this results in the sculpture being very visible from a distance.

Diane said:

“Sculpture should be for the general public. Lots of people don’t think they are interested in art, so I feel a responsibility to create something durable, something which will stay looking good and interesting. This arch will stand against the sky and is saying something very welcoming about the Scottish Seabird Centre as it faces out to the sea.

“I worked with blacksmiths to create the gannets on the arch, which are extraordinary birds who change shape and proved tricky to capture, but I’m pleased with the result. The steel arch itself has been created for me by the great team of specialist engineers from Blake Group engineering company in Leith. They are creating structures for the new Forth crossing, which gives you a sense of scale involved in my work. I never see the finished work until it is erected, so I’m very excited.”

Tom Brock, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said:

“The arrival of this exciting sculpture at the Seabird Centre is a great moment for us as we continue to support art to inspire people to appreciate our amazing wildlife. The Centre features outstanding and innovative photography, sculptures, painting and architecture. The installation of this wonderful sculpture in 2013 is very appropriate as it is the Year of Natural Scotland.

“We are very grateful to everyone that has supported this wonderful initiative, in particular Creative Scotland. We are also grateful to everyone that voted in the public competition to choose the winning sculptures. This arch will enhance a very special place and, I am sure, become a well-known and iconic landmark.”