Star of Caledonia has been given planning consent!
Read all about it in our press release.
The Star of Caledonia is Cecil Balmond’s response to the “The Great Unknown”. It is a project of form and landscape, and is the result of a fully integrated collaborative effort between Cecil Balmond and Charles Jencks. Charles Jencks describes the work:
“Crossing the border to Scotland, across the River Sark, is now a passage obscured under a bridge by cars travelling at speed. Instead of marking this with motorway signs we are using a landform and sculpture that pulls together the adjacent site, the distant hills and the Solway.
Nestled into the curving mound and springing from it is Cecil Balmond’s whirling creation. In one sense, it is a scintillating piece of calligraphy seen against the sky which will signify various meanings as you approach – starburst, energy and other images related to Scotland and Scottish identity. It all depends from where you see it in the landscape. These meanings emerge dramatically as you walk the site, but they are also taken up by the landform and embedded in its curves.”
The Star was born out of an idea by Balmond to capture the powerful energy, scientific heritage and magnetic pull of Scotland. Balmond’s design pays particular homage to Scottish innovation and particularly James Clerk Maxwell, the pre-eminent Scottish physicist, and mathematician noted for his groundbreaking work in electromagnetic theory. It was Maxwell who first said that light was energy and paved the way for Einstein and the other great thinkers of our modern world. Cecil Balmond explains:
“The Star of Caledonia is a Welcome; its kinetic form and light paths a constant trace of Scotland's power of invention. And I am delighted to be collaborating with Charles Jencks to create an integrated idea of this concept in both landscape and form.”
We aim to create a world-class Scottish Landmark that will signify energy, identity and borders, and will present Scotland as a vibrant and creative country.
The Gretna Landmark originated from the communities’ of Gretna, Gretna Green and local landowner and project champion, Alasdair Houston’s desire to help with the regeneration of their local area through the creation of a landmark artwork. The community had seen the tourism and marketing benefits of the “Angel of the North”.
"The Star of Caledonia” is a landform and sculpture by Cecil Balmond and Charles Jencks. Located near to the M74 Motorway and the West Coast main rail line, it’s grandeur and presence will welcome visitors from the South and announce arrival in Scotland. The work explores Scotland’s cultural, environmental and natural identity, while acting as an example of Scottish’s achievements in design and science.
Working closely with the creative director and the creative team, the project is being developed by The Gretna Landmark Trust, made up of local stakeholders, and managed by Wide Open, South Scotland.
In Summer 2011 The Gretna Landmark Trust was pleased to announce Cecil Balmond as the winning artist for the Gretna Landmark’s competition to design “the Great Unknown”. Cecil was chosen to work with internationally renowned architectural critic, land artist and designer Charles Jencks to realise an ambitious large scale project of integrated sculptural form and landscape that celebrates and explores the border crossing into Scotland at Gretna.
Andrew Dixon, selection panelist and chief executive of Creative Scotland says, “Cecil Balmond's outline proposal will combine artistic vision and engineering to produce a landmark that is rooted in Scotland's scientific contribution to the world. The project will provide millions of future visitors with an spectacular welcome and an ever changing contemporary symbol of a confident, creative Scotland.”
Over the last 12 months, Charles Jencks and Cecil Balmond have been working closely together, and with the Gretna Landmark Trust, to develop the design for "Star of Caledonia". The design is nearing completion and the project will over the summer of 2012 be putting the project forward for planning. The project is also running a fundraising campaign to raise funds to turn this vision into a reality. (see invest)
Dr Jan Hogarth
Mob. 07801 232229