KELPIES creator Andy Scott has immortalised the legacy of one of East Lothian’s most famous sons, John Muir, with a five-metre-high steel sculpture of a bear.
Fixed to a base erected on a mound planted with wildflowers, the sculpture was unveiled yesterday. It is located off the A1 near the Spott Roundabout at Dunbar.
Muir, born in Dunbar in 1838, played a key role in the development of America’s national parks. He emigrated from Scotland in 1849 and is famous for petitioning the US Congress for the National Park Bill, establishing Yosemite National Park. The bear is symbolic of Muir’s travels through the wilderness of America’s west and the Rockies, and his advocacy for national parks.
The sculpture forms part of the Hallhill development, which started on the site in 1999. It has already delivered sports facilities, 56 acres of community woodland and 1200 homes including over 200 affordable family homes, with about 320 currently under development. There is also school provision and commercial and retail outlets.
The unveiling was marked by a reception attended by local dignitaries and schoolchildren from Dunbar Primary. A competition will now be held with local schools to give the bear a name. The sculpture is made of welded steel and is fabricated from steel plates.
Scott, a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, has completed over 70 projects across the UK and internationally. His distinctive hand-crafted figurative sculptures combine traditional skill with contemporary fabrication techniques.
He said: “It is fantastic to see this sculpture finally being erected as part of the Hallhill development, especially in memory of such an influential character as John Muir, which is particularly apt given today’s focus on the environment.
“This bear sculpture will provide an opportunity to enlighten people about the man and his work.”