Royal approval for Barr artists

Barr artists Annet Forsyth and Merlin Currie meet Princess Anne.
Barr artists Annet Forsyth and Merlin Currie meet Princess Anne.

Two local artists were to the fore last week when Princess Anne unveiled a sculpture to commemorate the 10th birthday of the Falkirk Wheel.

Merlin Currie and Annet Forsyth from Barr had been commissioned to help primary school children from the seven local authorities along the Millennium Link design the sculpture in a series of art workshops. The children from the various areas met Merlin and Annet at the Wheel to discuss how they might produce something unique and special to them and their area’s waterway of the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals which are now joined by the Wheel.

Together they explored their own stretch of the Canal’s history as well as looking to the future and this was reflected in the final artwork. In addition, every child involved made a paper chain wish for the canal’s future and created funky sculptures using the iconic shapes of the wheel which formed the basis for the final design, entitled “Blossom”.

At the unveiling, both Merlin and Annet were introduced to Princess Anne who was genuinely interested in what had been achieved.

Merlin said: “Her face seemed to light up when she saw the sculpture and she was just terrific with the kids. Her visit, not to mention the Royal seal of approval, made their day.”

The ceremony was attended by Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Housing and Transport, and Mike Cantlay, Chair of VisitScotland. Merlin’s company ‘LX Arts’, which is based in Barr, is engaged in a number of art education programmes throughout Scotland and is currently involved in the completion of another two, more local, projects which will be unveiled soon.