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The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body (SPCB) endorsed the principle that there should be an art strategy for the new building.
Public art consultants, Art in Partnership, were awarded a contract, in August 2001, to advise the SPCB on the development of the strategy and on acquisitions, commissions and loans which would complement the architecture of the building and fulfil the stated aims of the strategy.
The Art Strategy and the proposed Art Programme were approved by the SPCB in March 2002, and £250,000 was made available for the first phase of the art strategy. The SPCB established an Art Group to work with the consultants and to take detailed decisions about expenditure. This Group consisted of three MSPs, Jamie Stone (Convener), Kenneth Macintosh and Michael Russell, who were able to draw on the advice of a number of non-voting members with particular experience of and expertise in the acquisition and commissioning of artworks.
The artworks were chosen from a selection of material made available to the Art Group, and included submissions from members of the public.
The first phase of the art strategy is now complete, with all the allocated budget spent. All the artwork that was acquired under this budget is now in place throughout the parliamentary campus.
The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, which has the overall responsibility for this, is currently developing a strategy for art within the building, including a consideration of whether there should be further acquisitions or commissions.
A programme of temporary displays of loaned artworks is being developed to compliment the existing permanent collection of works by some of Scotland’s leading artists and craftspeople.
The Visitor Information Desk was designed by David Colwell of Trannon. The desk is 11 metres (35 feet) long and is made of Scottish sycamore and oak. It functions as a workstation for six members of staff, including one place suitable for disabled visitors or staff.
Trannon uses locally grown, small diameter hardwoods and the energy efficient technique of steam bending, in which 'green' timber is bent and seasoned simultaneously.
Trannon was chosen by open competition from a short-list of 5 by the Parliament's Art Group, the architects and the Holyrood users' group.
The Art Group was particularly impressed by Trannon's ecological design credentials and by the way their proposal reflected the overall design of the building and the reception area in particular.
|GIN I SPEAK WI THE TUNGS
O MEN AN ANGELS
BUT HAE NAE LUVE I MY HAIRT
I AM NO NANE BETTER
NOR DUNNERIN BRESS
OR A RINGING CYMBAL
This quotation is taken from 1 Corinthians 13.1 in The New Testament in Scots, translated by William Laughton Lorimer. The steel letters, designed by Gary Breeze, were cut into the whinstone pavement at the entrance to Queensberry House.
In the authorised version this quotation reads:
Though I speak with the tongues
of men and of angels
and have not charity
I am become as sounding brass
or a tinkling cymbal
The threshold of the Donald Dewar Room carries a quote made famous by one of the late First Minister's former parliamentary colleagues and strongest proponents of devolution. The quote, which is cut in Caithness stone, reads:
People in Scotland want a degree of government for themselves. It is not beyond the wit of man to devise the institutions to meet these demands.
The letters were cut into the threshold by Gillian Forbes, based in Perthshire. The inscription is a quote from John P Mackintosh's speech to the House of Commons during the Scotland and Wales Bill 1976. The idea for the stone was initiated by the Mackintosh Memorial Committee, who provided funding for the project.
Look. What can you see?
I see beauty in the lochs.
I see majesty in mountains.
I see legend in rocks.
And it is ours.
Mairead F MacNeil:
Mar chaistealan glasa
A' fleòdradh sa mhuir
Shrouded in mist
Like grey castles
floating in the sea
The two poems, engraved into the Caithness flagstones outside the Scottish Parliament's public entrance, were the winning entries in a schools competition organised by Scottish Natural Heritage and the 'Rock On' Organising Partnership, who ran the Scottish Geology Festival 2005.
The two children's poems were inspired by the spectacular Scottish landscape. The poem in English by Robert Adam, aged 14 from Cushnie in Aberdeenshire, was the overall winner of the competition. The winning Gaelic language entry was by Mairead MacNeil, aged 15 from the Isle of Barra. Over 1000 entries throughout Scotland were judged by a panel of English and Gaelic language judges.
It had been planned to retain the children's paintings for viewing and possibly further display. However, when they were taken down from the hoardings and the protection was removed, they were found to be too badly damaged and faded by the weather.
The 'Honours of Scotland' sculpture was commissioned by the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh and was crafted in a workshop in Dunblane by silversmith Graham Stewart. The sculpture was presented to the Scottish Parliament by Her Majesty The Queen to mark the opening of the Scottish Parliament Building on Saturday 9 October 2004.
The sculpture is a bold and elegant design, linking the three elements of the Honours of Scotland in a single, flowing composition, symbolising their importance during one chapter of Scotland's ongoing history.
The three Honours of Scotland, the Crown, the Sword and the Sceptre, are the oldest sovereign regalia in the United Kingdom, and were always present during meetings of the old Scots Parliament. Since 1819 they have been on public display in Edinburgh Castle.
The sculpture is made of sterling silver, some of it plated with 24 ct gold. It is 28 inches high and 18 inches wide, weighing 50 lbs. It is topped with a piece of rock crystal. The sculpture is situated in the Main Hall of the Parliament Building.
The quotation in the kerbstone reads:
Dolerite An igneous rock from Caldercruix that cooled from molten magma around 300 million years ago
The kerbstone was provided as part of the 'Rock On Scotland' festival organised by various groups, headed by Scottish Natural Heritage, which celebrates geology in Scotland. Other partners included: National Museums of Scotland; Our Dynamic Earth; British Geological Survey; Hunterian Museum; the Scottish Earth Science Education Forum; and the Open University, Glasgow and Edinburgh Geological societies.
The installation was part of this event under the banner of ‘Naming Stones’. To coincide with ‘Rock On - 2003', the Organising Committee of ‘Rock On’ chose the new Scottish Parliament as a location to place a stone under the 'Naming Stones' event. The event was intended to stimulate the public imagination about geology within the cityscape and to help restore the links between the natural and built heritage. A previous event for ‘Rock On - 2001' saw a Caithness Flagstone laid in the Royal Mile which was engraved with details of its name, age and origin. The Dolerite stone was the stone used in the 2003 event.
Watson Stonecraft, one of the stone trade package contractors involved in the construction of the Parliament building provided the stone. The engraving work which was undertaken by Edinburgh sculptress Graciela Ainsworth and her team.
The Dolerite kerbstones were sourced from Caldercruix in North Lanarkshire.