Giant glowing heart lights up Edinburgh's St Giles Cathedral

The installation has been unveiled in tribute to Scots poet Robert Burns and also marks the 900th anniversary of the cathedral.

A large glowing heart has started beating in Edinburgh celebrating the life and legacy of the great poet Robert Burns.

The illumination has been suspended right at the centre of St Giles cathedral and promises a three-dimensional experience.

It is the latest installation to be brought to Edinburgh by German artist Michael Pendry.

“It goes through different phases, it’s showing what a heart can do. It burns, it pulsates, it’s even bleeding,” he said.

“It’s music, it’s light, it’s a three-dimensional experience for all the senses.”

The work, measuring five metres tall, has transformed the space with a ticketed evening illumination and soundscape for visitors.

With the world facing uncertain times with climate change and conflict, the artist said he wanted to remind people of what life is really about.

Michael said: “Lots of people are worried and afraid that our world as we know it is falling apart, in many ways and for many reasons, and to come back to what’s really important again in life.

“And I think that is a lack that is getting bigger and bigger, that empathy, the talking to each other and showing emotions and at the end of the day, love.”

Robert Burns
The installation has been unveiled in tribute to Robert Burns

The work is on show as part of the Burns and Beyond festival, an annual celebration of great poet Robert Burns.

The festival programme also includes live music, Burns ceilidhs and other events throughout the city.

“It’s beautiful and we’re so pleased to welcome Michael Pendry back to Burns and Beyond and to St Giles Cathedral with another stunning art piece,” said Alan Thomson from Unique Events.

“He was here two years ago with a flock of doves which took over the whole cathedral, but this installation is a UK premier so the first time it’s been shown outside Munich.

“So, we’re so pleased to have it here both for Burns and Beyond but also to celebrate the 900th anniversary of St Giles.”

The anniversary of the founding of the cathedral will be celebrated throughout the year with a series of events.

The installation HEART will be on show until February 11.

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