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Dreaming Spires

May 15, 2013 on 7:32 pm | In Dream Journals | 4 Comments

Dreaming Spires is a scrap metal sculpture by local artist Helen Denerley that was commissioned by the Omni Centre following a competition held to design a sculpture to stand on the pavement outside the new building.

It depicts two giraffes – a mother and her calf – made from discarded motorbike and car parts, surrounded by a poem cast in bronze by Roy Campbell:

Giraffes! – a People
Who live between earth and skies
Each in his own religious steeple
Keeping a lighthouse with his eyes

It cost £50,000 and although officially titled Dreaming Spires it is affectionately known by the sculptor and her team as Martha and Gilbert.

Ms Denerley said she opted for giraffes after a visit to the area around Omni, when she decided it would benefit from a "striking" new work of art.

"The eclectic mix of people, art and architecture creates an atmosphere into which a fresh and simple piece of public art will sit well. The site needs a form which is visually striking, simple yet beautiful, powerful yet elegant, and a subject close to the hearts of those who see it."

"I felt it was important for the people of Edinburgh to have a sculpture that was forward looking in its approach. The graceful and powerful giraffes symbolise the aspirations of a country which has often felt the constraints of history and traditions, and now embraces the opportunity to look beyond them."

"I hope people will travel from across the city to see the giraffes and that they will become established as a new place to meet."


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  1. Fantastic sculptures :D

    Comment by Tracey Stephens — May 15, 2013 #

  2. This is a beauty – you’ve captured this shot really very well indeed. I know this because I spent an afternoon a few years ago trying to get a good angle on them, and I didn’t manage anything nearly so striking! I think the night lights work so well with them.

    Comment by ~ Maree ~ — May 15, 2013 #

  3. …fabulous POV and night image. Tones are great. :))

    Comment by Helefran — May 15, 2013 #

  4. [http://www.flickr.com/photos/dreamworld30] Life size too. :D
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/mareeel] Thank you! I’ve been trying to capture them for ages too. I have the tramworks to thank as my bus home has been rerouted down Leith Street and I’ve been able to look at Martha and Gilbert every day at different angles and in different conditions. I think they also look great in the pouring rain but it’s tricky to shoot.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/helefran] Thanks Helen! There are lots of interesting Christmas and street lights around that spot, and from the Omni Centre itself, with its cinema, gym, and restaurants.

    Comment by Graeme Pow — May 15, 2013 #

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