Artists will cast their nets far and wide in Eyemouth

The artistic spotlight is about to fall on Eyemouth for an event which uses the cultural connections between the eastern and central Borders as its main theme.

Looking at links between the coast and inland, and the flow of ideas in both directions, ‘Casting the Net’ will bring spaces left empty after a decline in the towns’ fishing and textiles industries back to life between March 23 and April 6 in Selkirk and March 30-31 in Eyemouth.

The project, devised and curated by Borders Arts Trust (BAT), working closely with community groups in both Selkirk and Eyemouth, aims to cast a fresh light on the rich cultural heritage of land and sea. Six artists working within the Borders were commissioned by BAT to create new works on this theme following an open call. A further four artists whose work focuses on the impact of the sea have also been invited to exhibit.

Although the first weekend’s action will centre on Selkirk, the first attraction will be James Wyness’ sound piece inspired by Eyemouth’s ice plant.

In Eyemouth, visual artist Catriona Taylor and poet Stuart Delves are collaborating on an installation of words projected on water, sited in a large tank representing thoughts and ideas about the demise of traditional fishing in the coastal town.

Over Easter weekend, textiles and fishing will be woven together with story, memory and song at Eyemouth’s Fisherman’s Mission as professional knitters from Eribé in Galashiels meet up with skilled local knitters, netters and ‘natterers’, including retired fisherman Alex Thorburn who will tell his yarns and reminisce with extraordinary poetry, all keen to impart their knowledge to a new generation.

In the gathering of Ganseys for an exhibition forming part of Casting the Net, Eyemouth Museum has reported that its call for examples of the traditional fisherman’s jumper from the community has already evoked many a memory and sparked an interest in knitting them again, which could bring the knitwear to a whole new generation of fashionistas.