A new art installation at Aberfoyle's David Marshall Lodge in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park is helping to reinvigorate the forest and board walks at the visitor centre.
Part of Forestry Commission Scotland’s ongoing re-development programme to refresh and improve the visitor experience at the centre, the six eerily beautiful male and female figures – Vestige – were created by artist, Rob Mullholland
The piece represents the faint traces of the people and communities that once occupied and lived in this space.
“Before the First World War, this area was open hillside that was worked by crofters. With the desperate need for timber during and after the war, the crofters were moved to other land so that the hills could be planted with fast growing conifer trees.
“I have always been intrigued about the human desire to leave a trace of one’s-self for future generations and although there are traces of the crofters' presence – like the faint outlines of some of the crofts within the forest – I wanted to create a visual form that would represent the people themselves.
“The reflective figures ask us to look again and consider the symbiotic relationship we have with our natural and man-made environment. They might also ask us to reconsider what sort of trace we want to leave for future generations.”
The robust galvanised steel and mirror polished stainless steel figures, which blend well and are in harmony with the natural surroundings, will remain in good condition for several decades.
The purpose of the figures is to explore the idea of relationships - with other people, with the landscape and with the past - absorbing their environment, reflecting on their surface the daily changes of life in the forest. One minute the figures are there – a solid part of our world – but the next minute they seem to fade into the forest and become nothing more than an intangible outline.
Susan Nash, who is managing the overall project for the Commission, said:
“We wanted to add something artistic to the site but something that wasn’t at all intrusive on the peace and serenity of the location.
“Rob’s ethereal and otherworldly creation is a beautiful and thought-provoking addition to the site that I am sure will intrigue and delight everyone who visits the centre and tries the board walk.”