A new sculpture entitled Northern Light by George Wyllie, one of Scotland's greatest artists, was unveiled yesterday (18 November) at UNITE’s New Carnegie Court property in Aberdeen by the 86 year old artist himself.
Student accommodation provider, UNITE commissioned the work when their property, New Carnegie Court in Aberdeen, was opened in September 2008. The artwork is situated in the courtyard of the new property, in the heart of the University of Aberdeen's Hillhead student campus, for students and staff to enjoy.
UNITE hosted the inauguration of the work for staff, university guests and students to view the sculpture and meet the artist.
Northern Light is the first major piece by George Wyllie to be created for Aberdeen and follows from the artist's 2007 sculpture, Cosmic Reach. Northern Light reflects its site at the University, symbolising aspiration in a place of learning. The installation is set in a base of rocks and pebbles from which three stainless steel poles rise to culminate in a helix within which is set a large rock.
George Wyllie's long affiliation with Scottish cities includes the Straw Locomotive which hung from Glasgow's Finneston Crane in 1987 and the Paper Boat which he sailed down the Clyde and ultimately into New York Harbour. George Wyllie is a Royal Scottish Academician and Past President of the Society of Scottish Artists. In 1995 he was appointed MBE for services to the arts.
Alan Russell Regional Business Director, Scotland, UNITE said: "We are very excited and honoured to be unveiling this important sculpture in Aberdeen. George is widely regarded as Scotland's leading sculptor and Northern Light is an important addition to New Carnegie Court and indeed Aberdeen.
"As the largest provider of student accommodation in Scotland we are always looking for ways to enhance the living environment of students. We are proud to unveil this important work alongside our superb new Aberdeen residences."
George Wyllie MBE said: "This work is designed with the aspiration of focusing attention on the space beyond ourselves. In Scotland's past standing stones were places of reverence. This is a stone which reconnects us with the cosmos – to transmit heavenly energy to the students of Aberdeen University – particularly those who will live in this fine new building."
Leith Forsyth, Director Campus Services, University of Aberdeen said: "Creating an inspiring and culturally enriched environment for the University of Aberdeen's student body is crucial towards enhancing their overall experience of living and learning at the institution. George Wyllie's sculpture is an impressive and welcome addition to our Hillhead campus which will be enjoyed by students for years to come."
For more information, on UNITE visit www.unite-students.com