The Turra Coo
Bronze public sculpture
The Turra Coo sculpture is a permanent public artwork centrally located in Turriff, Aberdeenshire, commissioned as a memorial to mark the centenary of a significant event in Turriff’s social history (1913); an incident in which a farmer and local inhabitants resisted the imposition of government taxation involving the confiscation and repatriation of a milking cow.
Working collaboratively with artists Charles Engebretson and Ginny Hutchison, a principal aim of Blyth's contribution explores taxidermy as a form of engendering ‘representational accuracy’. Drawing expertise from the farming community, the research addresses very specific rural and agricultural subjects in the creation of new meanings around human-animal relationships, in particular with animals bred for food. Blyth introduces a surreal quality, bringing his deep knowledge of taxidermy to make a sculpture which transforms the cow into an icon of resistance. This dramatically distinguishes itself from similar types of public sculpture by creating a work that operates in two registers, the popular and the conceptual.
The commission was organised by Turriff Tourism Group (TTAG) with support from LEADER, The McRobert Trust, The Mary Salmond Trust, Turriff District Ltd, local and private donation. The sculpture was awarded Merit of Distinction for Public Art at the Aberdeenshire Design Awards (2012).
A collection of the artist's photographs that document the making of The Turra Coo sculpture, including the taxidermy process involved. The three artists (David Blyth, Charles Engebretsen and Ginny Hutchison) are seen during the various stages of its production.