Edinburgh trams provide inspiration for artist

'No Through Road' . Picture: Kelly Stewart
'No Through Road' . Picture: Kelly Stewart
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IT is a far cry from the classic images of Calton Hill and Princes Street usually associated with the Athens of the North but now a Scots artist has released a series of exhibits charting the raft of colourful tram barriers and their impact on Edinburgh.

Kelly Stewart’s works have gone on display at a gallery in the city’s West End - which has been hit by the worst of the downturn.

Picture: submitted

Picture: submitted

The printmaker has been capturing the capital’s skyline in her sketches for more than a decade but became fascinated with the ever changing maze of diversions to hit the city centre.

Casting a satirical eye at the project, the titles include ‘Balmoral This Way’, with images featuring the world famous railway hotel locked behind a raft of barriers.

Her collection of five prints - around a dozen have been made of each for sale - will feature at Gallery TEN on Stafford Street which neighbours onto retailers which have been badly hit by the West End works.

Ms Stewart told The Scotsman: “I’ve drawn Edinburgh for over 10 years and but I recently got an iPhone and ever since I’ve been snapping away at the city’s landmarks. In each picture there is now a series of barriers for the tram project and the incredible colours gave me an idea for the series.

“I’m as annoyed as everyone else is but at the same time having these incredible colours against what is a rather monotone city presented such an interesting opportunity.”

Ms Stewart said orange cones, green barriers and coloured mesh used to cordon off areas has given sections of the city a new appearance.

She said: “I don’t usually use orange and bright green and I’m enjoying adding these colours to drawings of the city - the coloured mesh is my favourite.

“We’re all slightly embarrased when visitors come to Edinburgh and we have to explain it’s normally beautiful, it’s just these temporary works are here for the time being.

“Hopefully this will add a little homour and help us deal with this on a daily basis.”

Paul Musgrove and Gill Tyson opened Gallery TEN in November and ‘Illustrators at TEN’ is their first formal exhibition.

Mr Musgrove, 55, a former glass blower and printmaker, added: “It is somewhat fitting that the exhibition is being shown in the West End.

“Kelly’s pieces explain everything that’s going on here. The fact she’s treated the townscene in an almost grey, Dickensian manner and laid bright barriers give the viewer a rather unique perspective, and we think, is rather fitting.”

The exhibition runs until 10th March.