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Perthshire to Host Only Scottish Exhibit of WW1 Sculpture ‘The Hauntings’

PIC: MARK PASSMORE/APEX 04/01/2017 This picture shows forge owner Chris Hannam alongside the giant statue.

The Black Watch Castle and Museum in Perth will be the only place in Scotland to date to host ‘The Hauntings’ a scrap metal sculpture of a war-weary soldier.

The sculpture will be on display from the 1st of July until the 12th of November and stands 6.5 meters tall. It commissioned for the World War One centenary in 2014 by a couple, Jo Oliver and Paul Richards, who live in Somerset.

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.”

The statue is inspired by reported sightings of a ghostly soldier seen wandering around the Somerset hills close to where Jo grew up, with it believed he was looking for his way home.

Jo Oliver, the 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 I 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.”

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

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