The Unicorn is Unified

Monuments in Monuments 2019, The Engine Shed, Stirling.
2nd – 4th September 2019

Crafting the Future Discovery Day
, The Engine Shed, Stirling.
7th September 2019

The Unicorn is Unified is an artwork I created in response to Monuments in Monuments 2019 at The Engine Shed, as part of GOSSIP Collective’s contribution to the conference, in the form of an Art film. For the event, I decided to remix the 3D model titled Unicorn I, Stirling Castle from Historic Environment Scotland (HES), who kindly transferred the data. The 3D scan in question is a unicorn carving that sits on top of the roof of The Great Hall at Stirling Castle. In terms of artwork, the editing process and final 3D model is conveyed in the Art film. Lastly, I 3D printed the item in Multicolour at a height of 15cm.

The focus behind this work was to explore the idea of recreation and symbolism. The unicorn statue was reconstructed from existing etchings, therefore, I wanted to continue this narrative of building upon the past. Also present at Stirling Castle, within the Queen’s Inner Hall, is seven recreated tapestries based on the Unicorn Tapestries series. The originals are housed in The Cloisters Museum. As the symbol of the unicorn reappears I chose to combine both representations to create a new perspective.

I decided to superimpose imagery from one of the original tapestries, The Unicorn Rests in a Garden, onto the 3D scan using CAD software. The 2D public domain image is available online from The Metropolitan Museum of Art under an open licence. I selected this particular tapestry because it stands out from the rest of the series and might have been created separately. Projecting imagery onto the object adds context as both the statue and tapestries are based on past original works.

In regard to image placement, my intention was to have only parts of the chain notably visible, as in the original tapestry it is assumed that the chain is loose. The remixed 3D model also hints at the unicorns role as the National Animal of Scotland, a mythical beast who is proud and strong. Finally, half of the figure is also somewhat unrecognisable in order to show what is lost over time and the importance of conservation and process. The colour and choice of 3D printing material emphasise this further.

Partly funded by GOSSIP Collective

Something Old, Something New, Art film


© Historic Environment Scotland

The Unicorn Rests in a Garden (from the Unicorn Tapestries), 1495–1505 via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0


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