Lego artist Warren Elsmore opens his studio to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
- David Pollock
- 1 August 2017
Watch the buildings rise before your eyes, as Lego-builder extraordinaire lets the public behind the scenes at Brick City
After a 15-year career in IT, who wouldn't give it all up to play with Lego for the rest of their life? That's what Warren Elsmore did; already a prolific Lego artist in his spare time – building expansive tableaux and real-life recreations, rather than models from a kit – he was on the verge of publishing his first book of Lego designs when the Danish company itself, and its national tourist board, commissioned him to make a large display for the 2012 London Olympics. 'I had to make a quick choice between an IT career, or to try and start another career building Lego models,' he says. 'Thankfully it worked out!'
Now Elsmore runs a four-person team from his studio in Edinburgh, creating large-scale Lego models for corporate clients around the world, as well as touring exhibitions based upon his many books of original Lego designs. That first book, Brick City, is one of the most popular, and the show which shares its title will be seen over this Fringe in an entirely different light.
'We get a lot of people asking to come and visit our studio to see how we work and look at the bricks we stock,' says Elsmore, speaking on the first day of the Brick City build at Riddle's Court. 'It's not something we can do, though, the way our studio works we really can't have a lot of visitors in.'
Now, after five years of hunting, Elsmore's team have finally found a venue they can use as a surrogate visitors' studio for the entire run of the Fringe, because they can't repack and unpack every day like ordinary Fringe shows.
'We're uplifting all of our studio into Riddle's Court, and we'll be live-building things throughout the entire 21 days of our run,' he says. 'It's a walk-through experience, with an exhibition of older work, then you can come and chat with us in the studio, and downstairs we'll be building a massive city diorama, which will grow and grow throughout the month.'
Brick City – The Backstage Tour is at Riddle's Court, Fri 4–Fri 25 Aug.