Artist's touch aids city centre revamp

A series of illustrations designed by a University artist in residence are to adorn one of Edinburgh's most famous streets.

Inspired by poetry from Scottish literary figures such as Robert Louis Stevenson and George Mackay Brown, Astrid Jaekel's creations can be found on the walls and windows throughout Rose Street.

Astrid is based in Edinburgh College of Art's Illustration department and was commissioned by Essential Edinburgh - an organisation which aims to improve the capital's city centre - to create a number of permanent artworks as part of a project to transform Rose Street.

Poetry in motion

Each installation features the poetry of one of the Rose Street Poets, the group of writers who frequented the numerous pubs and eateries in the 1950's and 1960's.

Astrid's swirling, whimsical illustrations surround the words, reflecting the atmosphere of the poems and the character of this historic street. The image of a red rose also features throughout.

I am delighted my work is part of this project. I think Rose Street is a little gem within Edinburgh’s centre and the series of developments Essential Edinburgh has commissioned for this place will further add to its uniqueness and charm

Astrid JaekelArtist-in-Residence

Changing seasons

While Astrid's illustrations will remain as a permanent fixture for the public to enjoy, the Roxburghe Hotel’s wall will feature a different poem every season.

Robert Louis Steven has featured twice with Windy Nights and Songs of Travel X. The most recent poem surrounded by the ECA artist’s colourful designs is A Recipe for Whisky by poet Ron Butlin.

The windows of Rose Street's BT Exchange - found between Castle and Fredrick Street - have also been decorated. Here, the verses of George Mackay Brown's Beachcomber are told through the seven arched windows.

We are incredibly proud to feature Astrid's illustrations throughout Rose Street. Her work is part of a long-term plan to reinvigorate this city centre street and her exquisite artwork has done much to enhance the atmosphere and colour the street already

Andy NealChief Executive of Essential Edinburgh

Celebrated design

Parts of this work were shortlisted for the Adrian Henri Prize for Poetry in Art in early 2013.

The project was also supported by The Prince's Foundation, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature and British Telecom.