Library exhibition a shoe in for Sarah

Artist Sarah Dowse with her shoe portraits currently exhibited at Duns Library
Artist Sarah Dowse with her shoe portraits currently exhibited at Duns Library

An artist who has lived in Berwickshire for close to 40 years is staging an exhibition as a parting gift to the area before she heads for pastures new.

Sarah Dowse is showcasing her work at Duns Library & Contact Centre until the end of the month and although she also loves the local landscape, like many of her peers, her collection focuses mainly on shoes.

But surprisingly Sarah doesn’t share the passion for shoes that many women do.

Instead, she is more intrigued by what people’s choice of footwear says about them as a person.

“A person’s choice of shoe can be rather a revealing one,” Sarah told ‘The Berwickshire’.

“Some people choose them for fashion; others for comfort; others because they’re practical, while some like to make a statement with them.

“I’m definitely not ‘a shoe person’ in the typically feminine sense of the word I garden a lot so I tend to wear old boots!”

Sarah doesn’t have a preference when it comes to the condition of the shoes that inspire her art.

“New shoes, old shoes, ones that have never been worn- I find them all interesting.

“Locally I’ve done pictures of quite a few pairs of wedding shoes; children’s first shoes and ballet shoes.

Sarah was brought up in north east England and studied at Falmouth Art College before her love for art had to take a back seat as she started a family.

“It happens to so many people; other commitments take over and I just didn’t have the time to commit to my art.

“Once my children had grown up I got back into it and completed in Open University degree in art history and philosophy of art.”

The primary focus of Sarah’s exhibition is footwear but she couldn’t leave the area without also displaying her affection for a place she’s called home for the past four decades.

Sarah’s paintings include seascapes from Bass Rock, autumnal evenings at Duns Castle and various pictures from near her home in Cumledge Mill, which she will soon leave to head north.

All bar one of the 30 pieces in Sarah’s exhibition will be for sale.

If you want to take a look, Duns Library & Contact Centre is open Monday, Thursday and Friday 10m-5pm; Tuesday 1pm-7pm; Wednesday- 10am-1pm; Saturday 9.30am-12:30pm.