“Emergence’’ stands as a lasting memorial to Aileen

Gavin and Stuart Harris, flanked by Graham Stewart and Susheila Jamieson, with the limestone sculpture named, Emergence, a memorial to his wife and daughter.
Gavin and Stuart Harris, flanked by Graham Stewart and Susheila Jamieson, with the limestone sculpture named, Emergence, a memorial to his wife and daughter.

A new sculpture, commissioned by Peebles man Gavin Harris and his son Stuart, is on display at Dawyck Botanic Garden, Stobo.

The limestone sculpture named “Emergence’’ stands as a lasting memorial to Gavin’s wife Aileen who died in 2005, and his daughter Alison, who passed away last year.

Gavin, a keen photographer, who lives in Peebles, explained: “All the family loved visiting Dawyck. Alison worked at the Garden reception and shop on Saturdays, so she was very connected to Dawyck. I visit the Garden twice a week to take photographs, so Dawyck is the most fitting place for Stuart and I to have a memorial to Aileen and Alison.

He added: “Initially Stuart and I had talked about a memorial bench, but then the Garden Curator, Graham Stewart, suggested a sculpture which is a far better option because it is a visual lasting memorial to Aileen and Alison, and an art installation to be enjoyed by visitors to Dawyck for generations to come”.

Gavin and Stuart commissioned local sculptor Susheila Jamieson to create the new work of art from Kilkenny limestone.

The sculpture named “Emergence’’ weighs about 1.5 tons and took over 250 hours to create.

It is the second sculpture created by Susheila to be gifted to Dawyck. “Gentle Presence”, a sculpture in Portland limestone commissioned by Susheila’s aunt Margaret, has been much admired by visitors since it was installed in spring 2016.

Susheila, who lives in Broughton, said: “Dawyck is an amazing place and such a natural setting for sculptures in limestone. I was honoured when I was asked by Gavin to create “Emergence” in memory of his wife and daughter. It is a celebration of their lives too and I worked very closely with Gavin on the choice of limestone, design and finish. The dark Kilkenny limestone is very robust with a variety of textures. It sits perfectly in the leafy woodland setting at Dawyck.”

Garden Curator, Graham Stewart said: “Dawyck Botanic Garden is very pleased to provide a home for Gavin and Stuart’s sculpture, which inspires the idea of new beginnings. Such a dynamic garden setting draws so many parallels with the concept of emergence, evolution and transition”.

For more information about Dawyck Botanic Garden visit www.rbge.org.uk.