New public sculpture in Ullapool

Local primary school pupils helped create the sculpture.
Local primary school pupils helped create the sculpture.

This summer hundreds of people in Ullapool have helped to create a giant shoal of fish out of clay.

The finished sculpture will be installed on the exterior of Lochbroom Leisure Centre this coming weekend and will be unveiled to the public on Tuesday, October 29th.

The sculpture is the result of the Earth Fins & Fire project run by An Talla Solais, Ullapool’s community art centre.

Ceramic artists Kevin Morris, Allison Weightman and Fergus Stewart ran a series of workshops to create hundreds of individual fish.

The starting point was actual fish brought in by the public, from local salmon to deep-sea curiosities from Ullapool’s fishermen. The real fish were used to create plaster moulds, into which clay was then pressed to make replicas.

Every piece of the huge shoal was glazed during public workshops at An Talla Solais, and they have now been fired and are ready to be revealed.

Participants included local primary schools Badcaul, Achiltibuie and Ullapool, as well as students from Ullapool High and around two hundred members of the public, both local and visitors to the area.

Every child in Ullapool Primary School made a fish, and all of them will be coming to the launch!

The sculpture is being situated on the exterior of Lochboom Leisure Centre and swimming pool.

The leisure centre hosted one of the workshops and their users have played an important part in the project. The huge community effort that achieved the swimming pool’s new roof is now being celebrated through these lively fish.

An Talla Solais is currently installing a kiln which will enable them to expand their teaching programme in clay and ceramics.

The first major exhibition of 2014, State of Flux, will focus on ceramics in Scotland and will bring more tutors and opportunities to Ullapool.

The project has been funded by Creative Scotland, the Sylvia Waddilove Foundation and the Highland Council.

The launch will take place at 1.20pm on Tuesday, October 29th, at Lochbroom Leisure Centre on Quay Street.

Everyone is welcome to attend this short event, which will include the unveiling of the sculpture by Ullapool Harbour Master Kevin Peach.