The public backlash against the original idea was so negative that it was pulled.
But now, the project once nicknamed “The Tilting Pier” is back – and residents are being encouraged to share their stories of the River Ness to help inspire the artists.
The team who will create the new Gathering Place artwork, from collaborations from Sans Facon and OSA, say they aim to uncover the city’s hidden myths.
And they are are appealing to locals to talk to them about their personal experiences and feelings of the River Ness, as part of a consultation event being held at Inverness Train station this today and tomorrow between 10am and 5pm.
Tristan Surtees, one of four artists on the project, explained that gathering these stories is a pinnacle element of the project. He said: “It’s about having a conversation with people as they pass by and understanding people’s relationship with the river, their thoughts, their stories and their myths.
Often stories of small historic significance builds up this archive and informs the design process of the project.
“This short film is the beginning of these conversations and other people will use this and refer back to this in the future. We will be at showing the video over two days in Inverness and also sharing it online and we are looking forward to chatting with people in Inverness about the project this weekend. “
The six minute feature filmed just two months ago, showcases stunning landscapes of the River Ness stretching far across the city. The scenes, taken by both a drone and by boat, highlights the weaving river across the stunning countryside and through the inner-city.
Chair of the Inverness City of Arts working group, Councillor Isabelle MacKenzie is encouraging everyone to get involved in helping create this iconic monument. She said: “I hope that everyone will come along to see this interesting viewing of the river. Many will have their own tales of the river and what the river ness means to them.”
The Gathering Place project is part of a £758,000 River Connections Public Art Programme being commissioned by The Highland Council’s Inverness City Arts Working Group. The monument is being produced as an anchor to bring the community together and create a focal point for the City and its residents.