Geddes’ Grimalkin A5 print
Geddes’ Grimalkin A5 print by R R Turner
This drawing is inspired by the historic Ramsay Gardens in Edinburgh, a set of old tenements nestled next to the Edinburgh Castle.
On the roof lurks a feline figure who has been perched up there since the buildings were redeveloped by Patrick Geddes in the late 1800s.
Often perceived as a black cat, the figure was originally part of a rooftop triad which included an Angel and a Sphinx. The mysterious feline form was originally intended to be a representation of the Devil himself.
Due to the passing of time, and the weathering of many storms, the ceramic creature has eroded to an ambiguous Cat like entity, peering across the city.
To keep true to it’s history, Rachel has entitled this print as Geddes’ Grimalkin. The term ‘grimalkin’ is an archaic word for cat. It has it’s roots in Scottish legend in which there is reference to the grimalkin as a faery cat that dwells in the highlands.
Also during the early modern period, the name grimalkin – and cats in general – became associated with the devil and witchcraft. Witches in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were often accused of having a familiar, frequently a grimalkin.
So Geddes’ Grimalkin it is!
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