Continuing collaboration with Kyloe restaurant; painting their life-sized fibreglass cows.
Over the years I’ve painted a succession of cows with various themes for Kyloe. We switch over the cows on a regular basis so that they are seasonally relevant and stay fresh for passersby.
The restaurant has watched the foot traffic outside via their CCTV and estimate that the cow has its photo taken once every two minutes. It functions as a huge social media envoy and doorman for the restaurant, acting as a hook to let people know that the restaurant is there. This is important as the restaurant is a first floor establishment and is only accessible through the Huxley, its sister pub at ground level.
The cows are branded with the restaurant’s logo to help increase the restaurant’s profile on social media and on the street. Kyloe is an award-winning steak restaurant so the cow is bang on theme for the beef aficionado. I take my responsibility in painting this very seriously. The cow’s location is the first thing you see when you step onto Princes Street from the West End, and I think the quality of the paint job that I do should reflect the calibre of Kyloe, the top steak restaurant in Edinburgh.
Kyloe restaurant and The Huxley bar are on the route to Murrayfield Stadium and both have a strong history as a rugby supporting venues; the last cow that I painted was a personal favourite and was ‘Tartan Army’ themed.
The latest cow celebrates the restaurant’s new sponsorship of Edinburgh Rugby Club. Decked out in the Edinburgh Rugby colours and an Edinburgh Rugby coloured tartan kilt and skull cap, I’ve made it look like a bit of a roughneck.
Kyloe is also taking on organising the catering in the hospitality tent at Edinburgh Rugby’s home ground Myreside, so in this brief I had to keep both clients happy.
The final paint job has gone down very well with the staff and customers, and players from the team have been by a number of times to pose with their biggest supporter.
When the cowparade came to Edinburgh in 2006 I was commissioned to decorate one of the cows. I really wanted to paint a green cow festooned in massive flies, lying down and call it ‘Pat’ . (A cow -‘Pat’ I still think that’s funny)
The commissioners preferred this idea of a Highland bull in a kilt. I poured around 100 man hours into painting the kilt alone but I think it was worth it, he truly was totally bad assed. He was the only boy on show. I turned the cows udder into a sporran and gave her a sex change. In future though, I’ll buy kilts not paint them. When the cows were auctioned at the end of the parade he was the fifth highest grossing cow out of some hundred that were put up for sale.
Subsequent to that I was commissioned to repaint another two of the cows as highland warriors. (no kilts) It’s an odd feeling walking into that garden and feeling them eyeballing you. Even though I know they’re fake on a gut level it makes me nervous.