In this piece, the artist has used a limited colour palette of greys and white. The monochrome scheme gives the piece a dark sense of foreboding. There is great detail in the arches and windows of the tenement and of the bridge. Most striking of all is the sense of peace and the lack of movement: unlike the real road, which is constantly bustling with traffic and pedestrians, the Cowgate depicted here is devoid of life.
Elder says of this piece that she “was inspired to create this painting of the Cowgate in Edinburgh in an attempt to capture some of its dark, damp oppressive atmosphere with which I became familiar as a very small child having lived for the first five years of my life in a tenement on the Royal Mile nearby.”
Born in 1947 Irene Elder graduated from the Edinburgh College of Art in 1995.