Glen Feshie: Frank Bruce Sculpture Trail
A section of woodland in Glen Feshie is home to many wooden sculptures carved by artist Frank Bruce. The sculpture trail is easily accessed from nearby Aviemore and is a great option to also take in the natural beauty of the nearby River Feshie.
How to find it:
The sculptures were crafted with the knowledge that one day they would return to the ground with nature reclaiming them. Originally they were displayed near Banff in Aberdeenshire, however when the opportunity arose to have them here in the Cairngorms, a place that Frank and his wife had grown fond of, they were moved to their current location. The trail & sculptures are cared for and maintained by the Forestry Commission for Scotland. You will discover that some of the sculptures are carved in stone. This is to ensure that some of the artist’s work remains permanent as a record of his skills.
‘The Archetype’ – the first of the sculptures on the trail.
The design of some have them weakening before others, an intention by the artist. These sculptures are magnificent to look at. The sculptures take one on a journey through Scottish culture and can question our place in the world, both as individuals and as a society. You can spend a great deal of time looking at the sculptures, asking yourself questions and interpreting meaning through reflection of what your life is and what your life can be. The first sculpture on the trail is the Archetype. An archetype is a typical example of something. It can also be a mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors that is supposed to be present in our unconscious mind and which affects our behaviour and emotions. Examples of archetypes that people can relate to are those of “The Mother”, “Hero”, “Outlaw” and “Trickster”. A person can look at these sculptures and see if they can identify with a particular archetype. It may not be one that is positive and it might ignite a need or drive for change. On the other hand one may identify with a positive archetype and that person may feel confidence and a sense of accomplishment in their life.
The largest stone sculpture, The Millennium, is Frank Bruce’s visual display of what creation is. The hand represents the force man has over destiny and what can be reached. It is a representation of he who created it all and gave man opportunity and skill to build and grow. Within the stone a pyramid and sphere are carved, also a face and hands. Man made the pyramids, man visited the moon, what is next for the human race?
A sculpture that focuses on Scottish Culture is “The Man’s the Gowd”. This work, inspired by the works of Robert Burns has two men standing facing each other, one a working man and the other a knight. Both have carved crowns of skulls upon their heads. The meaning that can be drawn from these is that no matter where one sits on the society ladder, rich or poor, we all die one day.
‘The Man’s the Gowd’
‘Millennium’ – one of the few stone sculptures