Rural Berwickshire provides the romantic location for Scotland’s newest contemporary art gallery and sculpture garden.
Opened in autumn 2013, the Stone Wall Gallery near Duns is a serene space, allowing artists and craftspeople to showcase their work in a modern gallery environment.
Already recommended for a Visit Scotland 5 star tourist attraction award, the gallery’s three distinct spaces and central walled garden have been enthusiastically received.
Founder Julie Aird has travelled to the far corners of Britain, with artists from throughout Scotland exhibiting work alongside those from Devon, Cornwall, Wales and Sussex. This collection of work by well-respected artists and exciting new talents brings a new and diverse offering of art to Berwickshire.
One prominent artist in the current line-up is Olivia Lomenech Gill, based in north Northumberland.
Olivia recently worked with the Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare, to create illustrations for their book ‘Where my Wellies Take Me’. The three also collaborated on visual material for the touring production of Morpurgo’s highly acclaimedmix of music and readings, ‘War Horse - only remembered’.
The gallery has a large display of paintings, etchings and sculptures by Olivia, including the preparatory studies and final pieces of work from her ‘War Horse’ project, the award winning ‘Wellies’ book and more.
Another prominent local artist exhibiting at the gallery is Jill Watson.
Jill was commissioned to sculpt bronze statues at Cove, St Abbs, Burnmouth and Eyemouth, to commemorate the fishing disaster of 1881. Fundraising is about to recommence in earnest to allow Jill to complete the memorial at Eyemouth.
The plan was to have a representation of every widow and child of the lost fishermen as part of the bronze memorials located in each of the affected harbours. Statues at Cove, St Abbs and Burnmouth have been completed. Eyemouth’s memorial, with a much larger number of widows and orphans due to the size of its fleet, was started but has yet to be completed.
Gallery owner Julie said this exhibition features many artists whose work had not been available to put on show at the opening last year.
She said: “We are proud to be exhibiting not only the original bronze maquette used by Jill but also an exhibition of very moving photographs of the memorials on site.
“We will be offering editions of the bronze for sale at the gallery with all funds going to the memorial fund and we hope to not only raise money but awareness of the campaign to complete this monument to Scotland’s worst ever fishing disaster.
“It seemed pertinent to us with the chat about taking fishing away from Eyemouth, and the meatier content behind the art itself.”
Other exhibiting artists include Neil Davies, Hazel Vellacott, Susan Ashworth, Jacqueline Leighton Boyce and sculptors Andrea Geile, Charlie Poulsen, Walter Awlson, and Susheila Jamieson.
The Stone Wall Gallery can be found at Cruiksfield, on the B6355 between Preston & Chirnside.
The next exhibition is due to take place from February 20 to March 23 (closed Wednesdays) as well as by appointment outside exhibition times. The gallery is open daily during exhibitions.
For further information you can visit the gallery’s website at www.stonewallgallery.co.uk.