Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebration is known the world over for its wonderful festival atmosphere, Street Party and fireworks as revellers welcome in the New Year in style.
But now, one Edinburgh-based artist has created his own “love letter” to the Hogmanay of old with a massive mural right in the heart of the city.
Chris Rutterford has transformed the walls of the 17th century Tron Kirk on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile with a 15 m by 2 m artwork which depicts the celebratory crowds of Hogmanay when people used to gather around the Royal Mile on 31 December.
The distinct spire of St Giles Cathedral can be seen in the background and the faces in the crowd are made up of tourists and visitors who have stopped by the Tron while the venue hosted the Free Fringe Festival over the past few weeks.
Working long hours through this year’s festival, Chris knows the scale of his task and explained that visitors had been queuing out the door to make sure they were included. Once complete he expects there to be over a thousand faces in the crowd.
The Tron is due to shortly close for refurbishment and is set to reopen as a new visitor centre telling the story of Scotland’s World Heritage Sites in 2016.
Although nothing is confirmed yet, Chris is hopeful that the mural will return to the Tron. “It would be great if it featured in the Kirk in the future as it’s custom-built for this space.” In the meantime, he’ll return to his studio where he’ll continue working on the mural.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of stopping by the Kirk to see the work in progress and it really has to be seen to be believed. Dressed in trademark red top hat, Chris was busy painting while the Free Fringe events took place on the stage.
Chris will be at the Tron until Sunday and promises to post regular updates of the project. With participants checking the progress to see if they’ve been painted in yet, Chris explained it will be a little like a “Hogmanay Where’s Wally?”
Let’s hope the mural finds a home and that Chris’ fantastic creation will be celebrated for many years to come.
And it’s just been announced that the Pet Shop Boys will headline this year’s Concert in the Gardens. Buy your tickets now.