College helps renowned Syrian artist make his mark on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

A Syrian artist who came to Edinburgh as part of the first group of refugees from Lebanon has officially opened a 72-metre painting in the capital’s St. Andrew Square during the world famous Fringe Festival.

Nihad Al Turk, a Syrian Kurd from Aleppo, left his violence and chaos-stricken homeland for Beirut in 2015 with his wife Saswan before coming to Edinburgh later that year where he has resided ever since.

Since arriving in the capital, Nihad has been fascinated by the city’s architecture and his work, named ‘A New View of Edinburgh’, aims to reflect the city in its grandness and scale while also capturing his imagination which led him to envisage mythical creatures he recalls from Eastern mythology living among the people in some of Edinburgh’s iconic buildings.

The painting was first commissioned in 2015 and now spans the entire south side of St. Andrew Square Gardens, where the public can view the painting for free until Monday 26 August.

Nihad has faced a number of challenges in creating this work, not least finding a way in which to display such a large painting, however with support from the City of Edinburgh Council, The Welcoming, Edinburgh Fringe, the people of Edinburgh, and Edinburgh College – where Nihad spent time adding the final touches to his work – the painting can now be seen in all its glory.