Thursday, 18 April 2024
Thursday, 18 April 2024

Perth’s Black Watch Museum and Castle to host WW1 Sculpture

‘The Hauntings’, a scrap metal sculpture of a war-weary soldier, will be on display at five star, award-winning visitor attraction The Black Watch Castle and Museum in Perth between 1 July and 12 November, the only Scottish venue to host the sculpture to date.

The ghostly sculpture, which stands at 6.5 meters high, was commissioned for the World War One centenary in 2014 by a couple based in Somerset, Jo Oliver and Paul Richards, to commemorate those who served in the war. The inspiration behind the sculpture was the reported sightings of a ghostly soldier seen wandering around the Somerset hills close to where Jo grew up, looking for his way home.

The sculpture was made by metal sculpture specialists, Dorset Forge and Fabrication, a combination of the talents of blacksmith Chris Hannam and artist Martin Galvenby. It is made from over 1,000 pieces of locally sourced scrap metal including horseshoes, brake discs, and car jacks, and its intricate design allows the light to filter through his body giving a ghostly aura.

The sculpture, which has previously been on display at the Great Dorset Steam Fair and St Stephen’s Green Park in Dublin, can currently be seen at Antrobus House in Amesbury. The Black Watch Castle and Museum asked for the sculpture on loan from its private owners as it is a vivid representation of the many World War One soldier stories currently on display at the Museum.

Jo Oliver, owner of the sculpture said:

“The loan of this unique sculpture of discarded metal, The Hauntings, to The Black Watch Castle and Museum, gives Paul and me untold pleasure. Many years have spanned between my first childhood encounter with his ghostly presence on a Somerset hill until this point in time. He is now fulfilling his destiny as I saw it back then, ‘to make a difference’, to us all. He is you, me, us, the common man, as we each journey on life’s challenging battlefields. To agree to him being within The Black Watch Castle and Museum is an honour and I know that his presence will be inspirational to all who gaze upon him.”

Anne Kinnes, CEO of The Black Watch Castle and Museum said:

“We are extremely grateful to Jo and Paul for loaning The Hauntings to The Black Watch Castle and Museum, which will allow locals and visitors to stand beside this incredible and emotive sculpture and immerse themselves in all he represents, providing the space and time to reflect on all the physical and mental sacrifices that were made then, so we can live the lives we do today.”

Caroline Warburton, Destination Development Director (Central and North East) at Visit Scotland, said:

“This is an exciting announcement from The Black Watch Castle and Museum and for Perth. It provides another reason to visit the city this summer, further enhancing the city’s appeal as a destination for arts and culture. Securing the only Scottish appearance of this remarkable sculpture will attract visitors from across the country, not only providing a boost to the city’s economy and tourism businesses but also the opportunity to showcase Perth and Perthshire.”

The team at The Black Watch Castle and Museum is currently in the process of planning the logistics of transporting the larger-than-life sculpture to Perth and is creating a series of events and activities to engage visitors of all ages in the stories and themes that The Hauntings represents.

 For further information on The Hauntings and his visit to The Black Watch Castle and Museum, please visit https://theblackwatch.co.uk/

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