Wealth of local talent on show

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Crossing Borders, a grass roots network for independent professional artists and designer makers living and working in the Scottish Borders and north Northumberland, is showcasing that work in a special event over the next two weekends.

Both Berwickshire and north Northumberland share an extraordinary wealth of local creative talent, and this Crossing Borders event, divided into the east trail and the west trail, offers the opportunity to see the work of 50 members giving a unique and fascinating insight in to an artist’s way of life and working environment.

Julia Linstead Glass Work

Julia Linstead Glass Work

The range of work being shown spans photography, drawing and painting, textiles, sculpture, jewellery, furniture, word-turning and more. In each case, there will be the chance to view work in progress and to buy one-off pieces direct from the artist at a very good price.

Many will offer a chance to try-your-hand – at weaving, felting, working in clay or print-making and other techniques. This really is a great opportunity for all ages and abilities to roll up their sleeves and become involved.

Coldstream photographer Barbara Berkowitz will be hosting workshops in her Market Square base from September 2-4. The sessions will run from 2-3.30pm and will give people an opportunity to create their own artwork.

Staying in Coldstream, to celebrate 21 years in the business, glass maker Julia Linstead will be exhibiting one-off bowls especially made for the Art Trail in The Glass Workshop, The Hirsel. The unique and intricately detailed etched pieces explore Julia’s interest in the minute details of nature.

Like many of her fellow artists, Julia will also be hosting workshops which will allow visitors to design and decorate their own tealights. These will run from 11am-4pm on September 2-4 and cost £5 (materials included).

Another talented local giving art fans the chance to create their own masterpiece is Allanton’s Gill Walton, who recently relocated to a much bigger studio in Allanton Courtyard, once part of the Blackadder country estate.

From here Gill works on her still life and portaits, oil paintings and sculptures and also runs classes for children and adults.

She will be doing exactly that next weekend when visitors will get the opportunity to make their own miniature portrait head from clay.

Like Allanton, Swinton will be brimming with artistic activity when textile artists Laura Brittain and Janice Embleton. open the doors of their studio at 2 The Green. As well as finding out how the women who make everything from baby booties to cushions, there will also be a chance to buy some of their goods with special offers running all weekend.

Other Berwickshire artists taking part in the trail are Gordon sculptor Martyn Welch and Eyemouth’s Derek Jones who will feature his own work and the work of a number of guest artists at the studio at Millbank Stables on the B6355.

Nearby Burnmouth Village Hall will be taken over by Arts Eyemouth for the purposes of the Arts Trail, with plenty of opportunities for some hands on fun with spray painting, painting and puppet taking place from 10am-5pm on Sunday, September 3.

In Berwick and north Northumberland there is also a broad mix of creative talent on show: printmakers Morag Eaton and Dave Watson are opening their studio at Bridge Street Berwick on Saturday, September 3, and on the Sunday Helen Cowans will display her new body of work at Haugh Head, Wooler; and Jim Edwards cityscapes and abstracts can also be viewed at Wooler on September 2-4 and September 9-11 and he will give numerous painting exhibitions as well as explaining his working practice.

The aim of the Crossing Borders Art Trail is to showcase, celebrate and encourage the increasing number of creative individuals in both areas and bring them together with new audiences and customers.

Creativity is incredibly important to the local economy and way of life - so why not take this fantastic opportunity to support professional artists, be inspired and get involved!

For more information visit www.crossing-borders.org.uk Or look out for free copies of the Art Trail booklet already in circulation. When following the trail – spot the brightly coloured sheep signs that will lead you to the artist’s door!