Look out for Jean’s Paxton exhibition

Jean de la Haye- Paxton House exhibition
Jean de la Haye- Paxton House exhibition

Known for housing some fantastic art, for the next few weeks Paxton House will be home to the work of Duns artist Jean de la Haye.

Jean’s exhibition ‘Looking Out’ opened to the public earlier this week and will be running until Sunday, October 13.

Trained at both Birmingham College of Art and Falmouth College of Art, mum of four Jean has lived in the Borders for 19 years but is exhibiting at Paxton for the first time.

Although she admits to keeping her hand in with art while raising a family, she said she found it a lot easier to devote the necessary time to her passion now her children were all grown up.

“Doing the exhibition is a bit of a leap of faith for me I suppose,” she explained.

“It’s been many years since I staged my last solo exhibition but two years ago I set myself a goal of doing another one.

“My children are now in their 20s and 30s so I have more free time.

“They think it’s fantastic that I’m having an exhibition at Paxton House as does my 90-year-old mother who lives with us - she’s been very encouraging!”

Although like many local artists, Jean is a huge admirer of the Berwickshire landscape, working from her home studio she also draws on her own memories and imagination to produce work both on cloth and paper.

“My themes come from my love and respect for the created world around me: all its beauty, and all its frailty,” Jean commented.

“Each person, creature, plant and natural form has significance and value, and plays an important role in the bigger story of creation.

“The faces in my art are not portraits but people drawn from my memory and imagination.

“In working the series of faces in cloth I want to capture the subtleties of inner expression in a medium that conveys some of the delicacy of skin.”

As well as being imaginative with her ideas, Jean also isn’t afraid to be a bit unorthodox with the materials she uses to bring them to life.

“I work with colour and line using very simple, slow techniques, on both cloth and paper surfaces using oil paint, stitches or watercolour,” she continued.

“I use remnants, rejects, cast-offs and leftovers of cloth, organic calico, and a limited palette of oil colour using comparatively harmless pigments such as those derived from earths and iron oxides.

“I always have new ideas but it might be another two years before I do another exhibition!”