A pair of immensely skilled stone carvers and sculptors will be sharing some of the lighter side of their work at “Scotland’s friendliest art fair”.

The McInroy & Wood Borders Art Fair (BAF), in Kelso on 15-17 March, will feature more than 70 artists, makers and galleries, many from the region.

Among them are Michelle de Bruin and Jo Crossland, who work at Marchmont House near Duns and at Hutton Stone, who produce everything from magnificent large-scale sculptures to inscriptions.

The pair, who have been working together for nearly a decade regularly take part in BAF – enjoying its sense of fun and sociability as much as its value as an opportunity to sell work and attract commissions.

Some of the pieces they create have a delightfully playful quality – like Michelle’s colourful pangolins (scaly anteaters) which she sometimes displays enjoying a tea party. 

This year at BAF she will be showing a whole variety of pieces including carved mice and a “prove you are human” inscription inspired by the Captcha feature on websites designed to sort people from robots.

She said: “Some of my work, like the pangolins, is an attempt to help recover that sense of childhood innocence and pleasure – like when you were little and there was no hierarchy between us and animals, so you would sit on the floor having tea with your toy animals.

“And I also aim to start a conversation – it’s not enough if people walk past a piece of art and just say ‘oh that’s nice’, I want it to conjure up some thoughts and for them to talk about it.”

Jo, who was originally Michelle’s apprentice, enjoys BAF because it’s an opportunity to show some experimental work and also because it’s an excellent way to meet the public and fellow artists and makers.

She said: “BAF is a really sociable event, you get to know and meet so many people over the three days – we always enjoy it and make the most of it.

“It’s also a great place for me to showcase new ideas – so this year I will have some high relief polychrome carvings – that’s something I have never done before and I will also be showing some lino cuts.

“With stone carving you always start with drawings before you make anything, so this is taking the process in a different direction by using drawings as a starting point and ending up with original prints.”

BAF has a growing reputation for the quality of the work on display attracting more than 4,000 visitors to meet the host of participating painters, print makers, sculptors, illustrators and other contemporary artists and makers.

This year there will be more than 70 exhibition stands and the work on display includes landscape, wildlife and portrait painting through to animal sculptures, ceramics and stone carvings.

Frances Ferguson, BAF’s director, said: “It’s become known by artists and visitors alike as Scotland’s friendliest art fair as there’s such a lovely atmosphere.

“And visitors love to meet artists and makers of the calibre of Michelle and Jo – whose work is quite extraordinary.

“We also offer lots in the way of great food, plus artists’ demonstrations to enjoy – as well as the excuse to take some time out and explore the beautiful towns and countryside of the Borders.”

BAF is family-friendly and features a pop-up print studio and demonstrations. You can relax and refuel at the indoor food village, where there will be food vans packed with all sorts of tempting treats.

It takes place at The Borders Event Centre, Kelso and starts at 10am each day, ending at 4pm on Friday and Sunday and 5pm on Saturday– visitors are asked to pay what they can afford in order to support next year’s event.

  • For details of the exhibitors see www.bordersartfair.com and follow BAF on social media for the latest updates.

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Notes for Editors

Further information

For media info contact Matthew Shelley – 07786 704299  [email protected]