Big Heids

A striking public art-work which forms a prominent landmark on the south side of the A8 Trunk Road, on the northern edge of the Eurocentral industrial and distribution centre, a mile (1.5 km) north of Holytown, the Big Heids comprise three giant heads each 10m (33 feet) in height and weighing 18 tons.

Supported on an upturned freight containers, some 7m (23 feet) high, the heads where installed in 1999. The controversial work cost £273,000 and forms part of the M8 Art Project, intended to form a 'sculpture corridor' along the road between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Designed by Methil-born sculptor David Mach (b. 1956), the sculpture is modelled on the faces of local volunteers, two men and a woman picked at random from the streets of Motherwell. It is crafted from thousands of welded steel tubes, of the sort once manufactured at the former Clydesdale Steel Works at nearby Mossend. The work is intended to represent of the strength of character of the people of North Lanarkshire and also pays tribute to the industrial heritage the area, with construction undertaken by Motherwell Bridge, an engineering company founded in 1898. Supported by the Lanarkshire Development Agency, the project became the focus of an engineering training programme, involving a team of apprentices and adult trainees.

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