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Leaping Willows!

Press Release   •  Apr 05, 2017 11:39 BST

LEAPING WILLOWS: (l-r) Hayley Cottle (6), Katie Wark (6), Amilia Wark (4) Murrin Houston (6) from Sanquhar celebrate the arrival of a 7ft willow unicorn at Crawick Multiverse, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland.

A new sculpture celebrating Scotland’s national animal will be unveiled one of the country’s leading art attractions this week.

The 7ft unicorn sculpture, designed and created by willow artist Woody Fox, takes pride of place within the 55-acre Crawick Multiverse artland in Dumfries & Galloway as Scotland’s links to the mythical creature are celebrated across the country as part of National Unicorn Day (9 April).

The fabled creature is a proud symbol of nobility and power and has been the nation’s favoured beast since the 14th century.

Unicorns were written about by the ancient Persians, Romans, Greeks and Celts, and were often described as an elegant white horse-like creature with a single horn capable of magical properties.

They’ve been linked to Scotland for centuries and were used as an early form of the Scottish coat of arms by William I in the late 1300s.

VisitScotland Regional Director Doug Wilson said: We are delighted to have been involved in bringing this sculpture of Scotland’s national animal to Dumfries & Galloway and have no doubt it will be a great draw for visitors to the region.

“The Crawick Multiverse artland offers a unique and exciting experience for visitors and is the perfect backdrop for this distinctive sculpture in the year that we are celebrating Scotland’s history, heritage and archaeology.

“2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories, including those myths and legends about the unicorn.”

Duncan Mackison, director of Crawick Multiverse Trust, said: “We are thrilled to join forces with VisitScotland to play our part in National Unicorn Day by displaying this beautiful sculpture at Crawick Multiverse.

“This is a truly unique location which celebrates art, making it the perfect choice for this special installation. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the site to see the unicorn which will be on display throughout the coming months."

Artist Woody Fox said: I was thrilled to be asked to create this unique sculpture of a unicorn to mark National Unicorn Day.

“My previous work includes deer, badgers, foxes and rabbits which bring homes, gardens, parks and public spaces to life. It has been very inspiring for me to work on this noble and spiritual animal for the first time and to help promote Scotland at the same time.”

In honour of National Unicorn Day (9 April), VisitScotland is challenging people across the country to embark on their own unicorn hunt and take a quest in search of tributes to our national animal.

Place to ‘unicorn spot’ include:

  • Stirling Castle which is home to the beautiful Mystic Hunt of the Unicorn tapestry.
  • The Mercat Cross in Dunfermline, Jedburgh, Melrose, Culross, Crail and Cupar, not to mention all of Scotland’s cities.
  • The HM Frigate Unicorn in Dundee is Scotland’s only surviving example of a wooden warship and one of the six oldest ships in the world.
  • The Fife town of Falkland takes a starring role in the hit TV series Outlander and right bang in its centre you’ll find a unicorn statue.
  • On the Black Isle, you can visit the Stables in Cromarty a converted Georgian building which now houses a gallery and studios, as well as its very own unicorn. The magnificent life-size sculpture provides a magical welcome to visitors of all ages.
  • In Dumfries & Galloway, Quests and Retreats offers dedicated Unicorn Quests exploring the landscapes and forests of the region in search for the elusive creature, which might just make a rare appearance.

To find out more about unicorn lore or for more magical ideas of where to go unicorn-spotting visit www.visitscotland.com/unicorn

To find our more about Crawick Multiverse artland in Dumfries and Galloway, visit www.crawickmultiverse.co.uk  

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    2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
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