Everyone knows the Ring sculpture on the High Street, Perth’s best-loved piece of public art. But have you ever wondered what it means?
The Ring was inspired by William Soutar’s famous poem Nae Day Sae Dark, but just how does the poem connect with the blindfolded man and his enigmatic companion, and why are they held in a steel hoop? On Saturday April 28th, the 114th anniversary of Soutar’s birth, there is an opportunity to ask the sculptor in person.
David Annand will be leading a stroll around Perth town centre from the Ring to his other Soutar-inspired sculpture, Golden-eye on the Dark and Singing Tide, on Tay Street. This will be followed by a short illustrated talk on his work in the Salutation Hotel on South Street.
Annand, who has a studio near Cupar in Fife, is much in demand, with public artworks all over the United Kingdom and Ireland. Many of his sculptures involve poets and poetry. Previous commissions have included heads of the late Scottish poets Norman MacCaig and Edwin Morgan at New Edinburgh Park; a bust of Rabbie Burns in Cupar; a bronze in County Derry to celebrate the 70th birthday of Irish poet Seamus Heaney; and a collaboration with Heaney on ‘Still’, a sculpture in the Marie Curie hospice in Belfast.
The sculpture stroll has been organised by the Friends of William Soutar Society. Ajay Close, formerly the Perth and Kinross William Soutar fellow, says the free event is being held by popular demand. “When I was writer-in-residence so many people asked me to explain the Ring. I could read them the poem, but beyond that I was stumped. Now we can find out exactly what was in the sculptor’s mind.”
Anyone interested in joining the stroll should turn up at the Ring at 3pm on Saturday April 28th.