HEART, the first in a series of installations and sculptures by German artist Michael Pendry, is at St Giles’ Cathedral as part of the city’s Burns&Beyond Festival and St Giles’ 900th, the anniversary of the founding of the Cathedral – but only until Sunday.

Pendry, who brought his stunning installation Les Colombes to the Cathedral in 2022, has created a new, three-dimensional, five-metre tall work that represents the human heart in its most romantic form. HEART lights up the cathedral with the symbol of life itself.  This artwork has transformed the space with a ticketed evening illumination and soundscape for visitors. 

HEART changes, pulsates, throbs, burns and sometimes bleeds, and can be seen at St Giles’ Cathedral until Sunday 11 February 2024.

Artist Michael Pendry said: “I’m so pleased to be returning to Edinburgh and St. Giles’ Cathedral with HEART, which represents a symbol for life in all its fullness, a symbol of being human, love and pain, primary and genuine in a tech-focused world. This heart will keep changing – because it is change that keeps it alive. I look forward to the people of Edinburgh enjoying the experience. In current times full of uncertainties, climate change and war, we need to remind us what life is about, and the importance of showing empathy, understanding, embracing the different and, at the end of the day, showing more heart. Art can make a change, and our role as artists is to spread some light, giving people hope and showing them what the world can also be despite of all the turmoil of our fast, hard and cold everyday life.’’

Penny Docherty and Alan Thomson, Directors of Unique Events who produce Burns&Beyond, said: “What better symbol for the Burns&Beyond Festival, which takes its inspiration from Rabbie Burns and promotes ‘Luv, Hope and Kindness’, than a heart.  We are delighted to welcome Michael Pendry back to Edinburgh and to St Giles’ to help us celebrate this most significant of anniversaries.”

Sarah Phemister Head of Heritage and Culture at St Giles’ Cathedral, said “As St Giles’ Cathedral heads into its 900th year in 2024, we are delighted to welcome Michael Pendry back to the cathedral with his installation HEART.  We are excited to be collaborating with Unique Events once again and cannot wait to welcome visitors from near and far.”

HEART will be on show at St Giles’ Cathedral until Sunday 11 February.  Tickets for the evening illumination and soundscape are priced at £5, and can be found, together with details of all the events in the Burns&Beyond programme, at www.burnsandbeyond.com.

HEART by Michael Pendry is presented in partnership by the Burns&Beyond Festival and St. Giles’ 900 with support from the City of Edinburgh Council.

Michael Pendry’s HEART at the first showing in the UK In St Giles’ Cathedral PHOTO ©2024 The Edinburgh Reporter
Michael Pendry’s HEART at the first showing in the UK In St Giles’ Cathedral PHOTO ©2024 The Edinburgh Reporter
© 2023 Martin McAdam
Messages of love in the cathedral © 2023 Martin McAdam
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Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter.
Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist and iPhoneographer.