Nessie wins a prize!

At the installation of the Nessie plaque
At the installation of the Nessie plaque

A plaque showing the Loch Ness Monster has been installed beside the River Ness, next to Inverness Cathedral. The plaque is the one of a series of seven artworks being installed at various locations across the city as part of the project, HighlandAR Legends, under the City-Region Deal.

Legend has it that Nessie was first spotted by Saint Columba in the River Ness and banished to the Loch. The new app HighlandAR Legends brings Nessie to life and you can see her swimming in the river with her baby.

The artwork for the Nessie plaque was by Anna-Evelina Zelanika of Millburn Academy, who won a competition last spring to design one of the HighlandAR artworks. Anna-Evelina and her classmates and teachers were given a sneak preview of the app and the plaque a few weeks prior to the artwork being installed. The school was presented with a prototype of the artwork which was jointly designed by Council Graphic Designer Kirsty Foster.

Communications and Resilience Manager Ruth Cleland who is leading the project gave a preview to Millburn Academy and congratulated Ann-Evelina on her winning picture of Nessie. She said: “We had a fantastic response from art pupils across Inverness and Nessie was an overwhelmingly popular theme. I hope this project will inspire children to learn more about local history and legends and also about the potential of digital technology in applications like the one we have made.

“HighlandAR Legends is a global, mobile app which is going live this week. The app uses augmented reality to bring the legends and history of Inverness to life. You will be able to download the app, follow the trail on a map and find the legends in the city, in the form of artworks. Simply point your device at the target picture to see Nessie swimming in the river. You will be able to look over the shoulder of the Brahan Seer up at the castle and peer into a prisoners’ cell on the side of the steeple, or watch a unicorn and fairies play in a magic garden in the grounds of Eden Court.

“The artworks and the app will provide a rich new experience for visitors to Inverness and also brings wider economic benefits and income generation opportunities to the Council.”

Provost of Inverness, Helen Carmichael said: “I am delighted to see these stunning artworks going up around Inverness. It is a wonderful and exciting new way of telling the stories and legends of our city which is rich in culture and history. The app brings these artworks to life in such an amazing way and I am sure people will love it!”

Depute Provost Graham Ross viewed the Nessie plaque being installed by the cathedral, with many tourists stopping to look. He also stopped at Eden Court to admire the Unicorn plaque and view the app being demonstrated.  Marvelling at the 8' unicorn appearing on the grass, he said: "This is going to be fantastic for visitors to Inverness and really sets Inverness aside as an innovative digital city." 

The Inverness Common Good Fund provided funding for the artworks which were designed by local artists and the Council’s Graphic Designer Kirsty Foster. Darroch McNaught of Deuxality created the HighlandAR app and augmented reality experiences.

You can find out more about the new app and where the artworks are located and the history behind them at www.highlandar.co.uk

The other plaques are now installed and the app is available on Google Play for android devices. It is also being uploaded to the Apple App Store over the next few days. 

The project is being exhibited at Xpo North at Eden Court today and tomorrow 27 and 28 June.

The Highland city-region deal is a joint initiative supported by up to £315M investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, HIE and University of the Highland and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.

27 Jun 2018
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