Gateway Art Project

Westhill initially became a recognized settlement about 1968 and so in 2018 had its 50th anniversary

Westhill and Elrick Community Council (WECC) commemorated this anniversary by celebrating the transition of Westhill from a small rural hamlet to the thriving town of 12000+ it is today.  WECC got funding for the design, construction and erection of a significant piece of public art at the north east side/corner of the “Tesco” roundabout .

Sculptor Holger Lonze was commissioned to design and build the sculpture. It was officially unveiled in May 2019.

Bulletin photo

Below is the text on the interpretation panel at the sculpture.

The rich archaeology of the Westhill area with its standing stones, enclosures and ring forts such as Barmekin and the Hill of Keir is evidence of a long history of farming in the region. Development since 1968, however, has replaced many historic farmsteads along the Old Skene Road and the parallel turnpike road, now the A944, and with it, the long farming heritage. Few historic buildings now remain, such as Westhill House, Prospect Cottage and Church Cottage. The distant North Sea with its oil and gas industries that are now based in the town, have become a driving force behind fifty years of development. The sculpture celebrates the farming community of Westhill that has been integrated over five decades into a thriving, diverse community that has shaped modern Westhill.

 This community project marks Westhill’s fifty years development by making its hidden history visible. The two-part composition references the long demolished crofts and cottages along the Old Skene Road, based on  photographs and drawings, including Leddach, Wester Kinmundy, Wrights, Mains and Eastside Crofts. The texture of these buildings evoke images of furrows, rolling landscape and waves. The latter, together with stainless steel bases, are a reminder of the relevance of the offshore industry for the town. The anthropomorphic proportions of the elongated, upright forms resemble standing stones and tree trunks, while the variation in height suggests growth. The setting on a circular mound in an East-West orientation is a reminder of the name Westhill and reference to prehistoric enclosures.

 The sculpture was fabricated in bronze and steel sheet by sculptor Holger Lonze, using the ancient repoussé process of alternating annealing and beating in combination with modern welding processes. The materials were chosen for their relevance to the areas prehistory and the offshore industry.

 The project was initiated by Westhill and Elrick Community Council and co-funded and supported by Aberdeenshire Council, McIntosh Plant Hire and FES.