Cecil Balmond Wins Scottish Sculpture Competition

Star Of The North Landmark For Gretna – Jencks and Goldsworthy create new landscape Works

Cecil Balmond’s ‘Star of Caledonia’ has been chosen as the design for the landmark sculpture at the England/Scotland Border Crossing project at Gretna. The public work depicts a giant green star. Andrew Dixon, Creative Scotland’s  chief executive  said the design was “rooted in Scotland’s scientific contribution to the world”. The concept will now be initiated over the summer before a planning application is put in. Balmond beat three international contenders to make it to the final stage of the competition. American artist Ned Kahn and Chris Wilkinson, of Wilkinson Eyre Architects  were also in the final shortlist for the project. The Gretna Landmark project will celebrate the particular nature of the Border and create a theatrical and meaningful experience

for the 10 million people who enter Scotland every year at Gretna, the Landmark will be a multiple installation of art and design  created to celebrate an historic border, between Scotland and England. In centuries past, this border was known as the ‘Debatable Lands’, but in the 21st century Gretna Landmark is proud to be creating an opportunity to explore the nature of national identity and boundaries at Scotland’s main border crossing. Currently the event of crossing the border into Scotland by road is unremarkable and travellers are often unaware that they have passed from one country into another. The Gretna Landmark project is delighted to be working with two of the world’s most respected artists working in the landscape, Charles Jencks and Andy Goldsworthy.  Both artists have their home in Dumfries and Galloway. Leading architectural theorist, designer and land artist, Charles Jencks has taken on the role of creative director of the development of this iconic Landmark scheme adjacent to the M74. crossing.  Charles said, “To be asked to get involved in something that goes to the heart of who are you – the questions of identity – is the most complex question an artist can be asked. It’s a great and worthy challenge.” Internationally renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy has been commissioned to develop a complementary sculpture installation that will explore a twelve mile boundary line between Scotland and England.  Part of this line is marked by the River Sark and a medieval linear earthwork, the Scots Dyke. “It has always astounded me how a line drawn on a map can have such a profound effect on the people who live either side of that line, so that differences can become intensified”, said Andy Goldsworthy. Both projects will work in synergy and close association with a growing team of innovative designers and engineers.  It is anticipated that the project will create a world class cultural destination and a worthy contemporary icon for Scotland.

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