These beautiful glittering kelpies appeared in Dundee City centre over the weekend and they are such a beautiful reminder of many childhood stories.
For those of you not from Scotland who are thinking "what on earth is she talking about?! They are just glittery horse heads!" I'll start by explaining what a kelpie is.
The stories and legends vary between areas and families but as an overview a kelpie is a mythical sea or loch creature that is often referred to as a water horse. Legend describes kelpies as dangerous shape shifters that have to reveal their true self once submerged in water. Some of the legends that go along with kelpies are quite gruesome... Stories warn children of creatures that will trick you into taking a ride on land whilst in horse form and then dive into the water where they will reveal their true self and as they change they seal your hands in their skin and dive so deep that they drown you and eat you! Well we Celts did give the world Halloween so we had to have some terrifying stories to go with it! Plus it has to work a little better than the no running signs around pools these days although I still think it's a harsh way of to warn children of the dangers of undercurrents in open water: I still have nightmares at the thought!
One of Scotland's most popular kelpie legends is of course known across the world.... The Loch Ness monster. The monster's story has it's origins in a local legend of a powerful kelpie that chose to shift between serpent form in water and sheep form on land.
But anyway I digress! I just thought I would share this little art instillation with you incase you want to check it out... And if you would rather give your children a relaxing bed time story instead of nightmares I would recommend you share one of my all time favourite childhood books with them: "The Water Horse" by Dick King Smith.
PS - If the kids like that then Dick King Smith has a huge range of amazing books, I would go with "Martin's mice" next followed up by "The Sheep Pig". Or try "The Enchanted Horse" by Magdalen Nabb.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Love always L x