Giant thistles unveiled at Edinburgh Airport

Gordon Dewar of Edinburgh Airport (right) with artist Kev Paxton
Edinburgh Airport has today (Monday, November 30) unveiled a giant sculpture of dancing thistles to help mark St Andrew’s Day.
Its new 4.5m high installation, which has been designed to sway in the wind (giving the impression that the two entwined thistles are dancing), has been positioned at the Airport’s Plaza, near the Edinburgh Tram station, to welcome passengers in and out of Scotland.
The 600kg steel sculpture was created by local artist Kev Paxton and his team at Lothians-based ArtFe – with 300 individual parts making up each thistle head and requiring 400 hours of labour.11456540Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “The thistle is Scotland’s national flower so it is perfect that we unveil artist Kev Paxton’s fantastic steel structure on the same day that Scots from across the globe celebrate the patron saint of Scotland.
“Edinburgh Airport is where Scotland meets the world and I’m sure the dancing thistles will catch the eye – and the imagination – of everyone coming in and out of the airport.”
Artist Kev Paxton said: “Too many bad things happen in our world, too many tragedies. People need reasons to be happy and smile more. Being from Edinburgh, it will be great if I can make people’s first or lasting impression of my home city a smile by installing iconic Scottish thistles dancing in the rain.”
Gordon Dewar with the ArtFe team
Gordon Dewar with the ArtFe team
ArtFe specialises in making sculptures from Mild Steel at its blacksmith’s smiddy on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
It uses traditional blacksmithing techniques to create head-turning works of art for private buyers, businesses and various other commissions.
Each piece quite literally has a heart – with steel hearts locked inside every sculpture.
Edinburgh Airport’s dancing thistle sculpture will remain in situ until after the Six Nations.
View the timelapse video of the thistle sculpture in the making here.

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