I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure

a metal mermaid


I saw this fabulous new sculpture by the side of the A80/M80, at Cumbernauld, between Glasgow and Stirling.  She is very impressive, and was designed by Andy Scott, the same man who designed The Heavy Horse which I wrote about here after my last trip to visit my mum.  She isn’t supposed to be a mermaid, but that’s what people seem to think she looks like!

photo credit: andy scott

photo credit: andy scott

photo credit: telegraph.co.uk

photo credit: telegraph.co.uk

This is what it says about her on the sculptor’s own website:

“The installation of the prestigious commission for an iconic landmark for Cumbernauld was completed in August 2010. The design of the sculpture is based on the original meaning of Cumbernauld, the Gaelic “cumer nan allt”, which means the coming together of waters.

The sculpture of a female figure, with swooping arcs which represent the waters, is 10 metres (32 feet) in height and was constructed in the studio in 15 sections. .”

After doing some research on the sculpture, I found this poem, written by Scottish poet Jim Carruth, which is on a plaque at the foot of the sculpture.

WATERSHED (Comar nan Allt)
by Jim Carruth

The first sounds spoken

from the spring’s core

are of a new beginning

of people and place

a poetry that bubbles

and gargles to the surface

to leave this watershed

flow east and west

in a rush of words

that tumble and fall

to join the conversations

of two great rivers

a voice calling out

I belong I belong

adding to the language

of sea and ocean.

Cumbernauld used to have a bit of a poor reputation locally for having grim, soul-less architecture.  It was one of the first ‘new towns’, created in the late 1950s to accommodate the population overspill from Glasgow caused by a chronic lack of decent housing.  It was built as several distinct neighbourhoods, clustered round a town centre, and with the idea that traffic and pedestrians would be segregated.  It acheived those aims, but looked dull and uninspiring – although I think these comments were mainly aimed at the town centre rather than the areas around it.  In 2002 it was voted the worst town in Scotland, but in 2010 it won an award as the most improving town!  The sculpture was commissioned as part of the drive for regeneration of the area and to change public perception of the town,

She’s a spectacular sculpture though, whatever the reason for having her.


10 thoughts on “a metal mermaid

  1. Oh, she’s beautiful! And she does look like a mermaid 🙂

  2. so awesome. it made me think instantly of my beautiful year and half old daughter which second name is Sirena and always extends her arms to me when I walk in, just like the metal sirena.

  3. I’m not big on sculpture as a rule, but I think that’s lovely!

  4. Yes, she is a cheering sight on a dull road 🙂

  5. She’s beautiful and would certainly catch your eye 🙂

  6. I like the one where she is lit up, Elaine – she looks very welcoming! And yes, she does remind me of a mermaid!

  7. That is a stunning sculpture!

  8. Pingback: The Kelpies | I used to be indecisive...

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