Duns Castle will house work of Borders artists

Frances Bell's picture which will be hung in Duns Castle's annual art exhibition
Frances Bell's picture which will be hung in Duns Castle's annual art exhibition

THE work of a wide range of artists from both sides of the border will be on show in the latest annual exhibition at Duns Castle. Organiser Caroline Hay of Art Amatoria is looking forward to welcoming a host of talented individuals to the grounds of the famous local landscape.

Amongst the number is the talented Earlston teenager William Foyle, who is taking part in one of his first exhibitions.

William uses thick layers of paint to create vibrant and slightly abstracted landscapes, inspired by the Borders and visits to Ireland, and his large canvases are certain to be a talking point.

Berwick’s Kate Philp is a hugely successful landscape artist, and Caroline is thrilled to have some of her new work on show as well as her ever popular prints.

Angela and Brunton Hunter, a couple from Innerleithen, share a studio but work in completely different media, with Angela favouring bronze resin to create wildlife sculptures and Brunton focussing on marble.

The exhibition will also feature two very different wildlife artists in the form of Cornhill’s Claire Weeks and Susan Mitchell, whose lively watercolours are always popular.

Another painter on show is Douglas Davies, a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour. He has exhibited widely throughout Scotland for many years and his free-flowing Borders landscapes in acrylic on paper are instantly recognisable.

Duns Castle is also delighted to be hosting two artists who work and paint in Duns, Sarah Dowse and Oliver Reed.

Sarah mainly uses pastels to paint charming still lifes and country scenes while Oliver, a lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art and founder of Allanbank Arts, has created an atmospheric series of paintings inspired by his walks through the woods around Duns Castle Estate.

The final artist to have work – ‘British Whites’ – adorning the walls of Duns Castle over the next few weeks is prominent landscape painter Frances Bell, who has been enjoying her fair share of success both locally and further afield of late. Frances was classically trained in Florence and paints wonderful Borders scenes.

However it was one of her portraits entitled ‘The Postman’, which was recently accepted into this year’s prestigious BP Portrait Awards held in The National Portrait Gallery, London.

Now in its 33rd year, The BP Portrait Award Exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery from June 21 to September 23 and will then go on tour where it will be shown at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, from November 3 to January 27 2013 and then onto the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, where it will take up residency from February 9 to May 19 next year.

This year there were 2,200 entries of which 55 were selected for exhibition, the most popular event held at the famous Portrait Gallery, regularly attracting over 300,000 viewers each year.

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition is also running through the summer this year at The Mall Gallery, London, starting in May, and Frances will be showing her painting ‘Martina’.

Then in June, also at The Mall Gallery, is The Society of Women Artists Annual Show of which Frances is a member.

Frances has also won herself plenty of admirers closer to home, often exhibiting in Cold-stream Gallery and of course in Duns Castle, with the new exhibition opening tomorrow, Friday, April 20 and continuing until Monday, May 7.