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Sunday, 3 July 2011

Exhibition of Old Town Artists Nell Dunnand Kenny Skeel, Storytelling Centre

Kenny Skeel's painting he did for the Declaration of Calton Hill in 2004 - on display at the Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh

Kenny Skeel, this picture was taken after waking from Cranston Street to Musselburgh in a downpour (photo by Eddie Truman)

In 2009 the Old Town recieved a shocking blow when both Kenny Skeel and Nell Dunn died of cancer.  Both were artists, beautiful artists.  They had lived in Cranston Street since 1974 however Kenny was born in Drummond Street in 1948 delivered by his next door neighbour, where ever he went in the world he would proudly claim he was "fae Drummond Street" regardless whether he was in Leith or Kabul.

I didn't really know Nell, only to say hello to her in the street as she was a close neighbour, but I was a good friend of Kenny's - he was not only a friend and neighbour but an activist in Save Our Old Town and previous to that for the Campaign for Democracy on Calton Hill.

Their work is currently on display until 26th July 2011 at the Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High street, open 10-6 Saturday to Sunday covered a wide creative spectrum: paintings, etchings, prints, exquisite pen and ink drawings, sculptures, banners, graphics, murals, sign-writing, shop fronts, specialist interior decoration, private and public commissions. Nell travelled the length and breadth of Scotland, and overseas, undertaking her very versatile and personal style of painting and interior decoration, leaving her mark on many private homes and public spaces. Kenny, well known for his distinctive shop fronts and murals, a ‘free-thinker’ and great raconteur, he was a Jack of all trades and a Master of many. This exhibition pays tribute to their achievements and memories.

Alongside the paintings and etchings are photos of Nell and Kenny going back to their childhoods - Kenny fae Drummond Street attend Jimmy Clerk's on St John's Hill and Nell from Airth.  Kenny sported the most glorious of beards throughout his life, a beard that would make Karl Marx jealous.

So if you have time come and pop in to the exhibition whether you knew Kenny or Nell or not you will love their work.

Obituries to Kenny here and here

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