THE Scottish sculptor behind the YES Stones phenomenon is holding a one woman exhibition of all her latest works in Edinburgh.

Alison Rollo, a keen Scottish nationalist who is based in Pitlochry, started the craze of painting stones to show support for independence which swept across Scotland and beyond in 2018.

The YES Stones Facebook group now has nearly 10,000 members who are still paintings thousands of creative and decorative pro-indy stones every year. The stones pop up all around the world from as far away as the United States, Asia and Australia with one even appearing in Alcatraz.

The National: Alison Rollo started making the stones to boost the Yes cause

They are holding their second “Stoners’ Convention” in Grangemouth in August after a successful event in Oban last summer which attracted 100 to the convention and dinner, with more attending the afternoon session at McCaig’s Tower where a drone photographed a massive Saltire they took with them. A cairn of YES Stones was also built and a similar event is planned at the Kelpies this summer.

Rollo is currently exhibiting at the Dundas Street Gallery in central Edinburgh with her work focusing predominantly on the female figure. Although born in Dundee, she grew up in Malaysia and became fascinated with early Pacific islands art from a young age.

After formal fine art training at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, much of her formative art career post-graduation took place in New Zealand where she exhibited widely before returning to Scotland in 1993.

She has travelled extensively since then and based her studio at times in Scotland, Australia and Italy where she has also held regular exhibitions.

The National:

She has exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh and the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts and was awarded the prestigious Walter Scott Purchase Prize by the latter.

Rollo uses high-quality stoneware clay fired at a very high temperature and her completed pieces are described as having the same sense of spiritualism and strength seen in monolithic pieces of early Pacific Islands art. Her work is very distinctive as a visit to the exhibition will reveal. There are over 30 pieces of sculpture displayed in the gallery of various sizes from small to quite large which have been created during the last two years.

They show a strong understanding of the human female form from quite primitive pieces to simple more stylised forms. Also available to purchase are original framed ink drawings taken from Alison’s own sketch books which show her design thinking processes.

The exhibition runs from May 7-10.