Sculptures to thank key workers spotted on tour in Edinburgh ahead of exhibition

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Sculptures painted by well-known artists to thank key workers were spotted on tour in Edinburgh ahead of an exhibition.

The artwork is part of the Gratitude installation currently touring the UK and headed by art producers Wild in Art – the creators behind the Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail in Scotland in 2019 and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Mascot Trail in 2016.

A collection of the new sculptures, painted by UK artists including Scottish fashion designer Pam Hogg and Scottish artists Alice Newman, Marcella Wylie and Gail Stirling Robertson, were pictured at The Forth Bridge in North Queensferry on Wednesday.

Gratitude art installation
Some of the sculptures from the art installation Gratitude at The Forth Bridge at North Queensferry (Andrew Milligan/PA)

They will form part of an exhibition of 51 colourful sculptures at Newhailes House and Gardens in Musselburgh which will run from September 17-27.

The artwork is part of a free-to-visit exhibition touring the UK to thank NHS staff and key workers for their dedication during the pandemic.

Also featuring at the exhibition will be voice-recordings of real-life stories and poems from the pandemic read by Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall, Hugh Bonneville, Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), Sarah Parish and Christopher Eccleston, Julie Hesmondhalgh, John Thomson, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, Shobna Gulati, Ciaran Griffiths and Adil Ray.

Artwork from artists taking part in the exhibition will also be on display alongside the Gratitude sculptures.

The tour will end with an exhibition in London from October 1-10 before the sculptures are auctioned off.

Wild in Art said proceeds will be donated to NHS Charities Together which supports the NHS.

Speaking about the installation, Pam Hogg said: “I’m honoured to have been asked to design one of the sculptures for this incredible Gratitude project to express immense appreciation for key workers of our NHS and beyond.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for artists and designers across Britain to show acknowledgement and give thanks through their work.

“As a travelling exhibition, I’m glad to say it will be on view in many wonderful locations including Newhailes House in Edinburgh.”

KT Tunstall said: “I am delighted to be contributing to Gratitude, a wonderful project that will help shine a much-needed light on all of our key workers, who have worked so hard during this challenging year.

“It’s fantastic to see that the whole country will be represented in the installation, with contributions from artists, stories and voices from all corners of the UK.”

Charlie Langhorne, managing director and co-founder of Wild in Art, added: “Gratitude is set to be a beautiful and striking tribute which celebrates the incredible courage and dedication of the UK’s NHS staff and all key workers and supports the vital work of NHS Charities Together.

“We are delighted to be taking our tour to Edinburgh, after months of hard work from artists across the UK, who have dedicated their time and creativity to help us produce an installation which reflects our endless gratitude for the care and kindness that all key workers have provided.”

Free tickets for Gratitude’s opening at Newhailes House and Gardens are available from the official Gratitude website at www.thisisgratitude.co.uk

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