• Art and craft to reconnect society with nature
  • Creative talents being nurtured at a great stately home
  • Offsetting the digital revolution with a new drive for the hand-made

An open studios weekend at Marchmont House, in The Borders, gave visitors the chance to meet artists and makers exhibiting everything from vivid textiles to paintings, ceramics and sculpture.

The event took place at Marchmont Studios, a group of beautiful studios and workshops created through the refurbishment of outbuildings set round the former stable yard at the stately home near Greenlaw.

Among those taking part were:

  • Lou Gardiner from Bristol who was showing a range of silk scarves created using prints of her original embroideries.
  • Frippy Jameson, a sculptor from near Greenlaw, well-known for her sculptures of horses.
  • Michelle de Bruin a stone carver, who has a studio at Marchmont House, and had created an installation artwork entitled 10,000 Hours, which featured a carving on an easel with dozens of the chisels she has worn out during her career.
  • Tod Hanson, a visual artist from Berwick, who has created limited edition prints that playfully reimagine the 1750 Palladian mansion, and which are being sold to raise funds for the Marchmont Makers Foundation (a charity supporting sustainable creativity).  
  • Visual artist and ceramicist Annabel Wightman, who has been resident in one of Marchmont’s Creative Spaces studios for a year.
  • Richard Goldsworthy, a young visual artist and sculptor now based at Marchmont studios.

Among the special guests at the open weekend was artist and promoter Richard Demarco CBE, who visited each of the studios, including Annabel’s.

A central theme of the event, on 28-29 August, was reconnecting society and nature through art and it involved a wide variety of emerging and established artists and makers.

Some (see notes) are long or short-term residents of the growing creative community based in the Marchmont’s Studios.

Hugo Burge, Director of Marchmont, said: “It was wonderful seeing the Marchmont Studios come to life, with visitors from all across the country enjoying the opportunity to see some superb contemporary art, and talk to the artists and makers about their work and inspiration.

“Many of them are inspired by nature and the need for contemporary society to reconnect with the natural world.

“It’s such a pleasure for us to be able to host events like this, and to help nurture talented creators and makers from across The Borders, the rest of Scotland and elsewhere in the UK.

“Our hope is that we will increasingly become a hub of artistic excellence and a place that holds events of all kinds to explore and promote creativity and the arts.”

In addition to the open studios event there were also guided tours of Marchmont’s outdoor sculpture collection, which features pieces from the 18th century to the present day.

The collection includes works by Charles Poulsen, Paolozzi, Michelle de Bruin, David Nash, William Turnbull, Antony Gormley and more. 

– Ends –

Picture by Julie Howden.

Notes for Editors 

The open studios participants included: 

There were special appearances by:

  • Andrew Mackenzie – the eminent Scottish treescape artist, took a studio to display his work in combination with the launch of his first ever sculpture “Woodland Structure” http://a-mackenzie.co.uk
  • Laura Derby – at Fogo Studio as artist in residence working on her colourful textiles in partnership with wasps studios https://www.rugaura.com
  • Helen Flockhart – painter, at The Old Squash Court in a residency in partnership with WASPS studios https://www.helenflockhart.com
  • Tod Hanson – we launched a poster of his artwork that re-imagines Marchmont in support of Marchmont Makers Foundation. https://todhanson.com/
  • Gary Anderson – showing some of his work following a 2-week commissioned residency at Marchmont  https://garyandersonworkshop.com
  • Martha Ellis – showing some of her work following a 2-week commissioned residency at Marchmont https://www.marthaellis.co.uk
  • Charlotte Nadau – showing some of her work following a 2-week commissioned residency at Marchmont  http://charlottenadeau.com
  • Lou Gardiner – here presenting her work and studios, whilst working on a special Marchmont commission – The Cape of Creative Purpose https://www.lougardiner.co.uk
  • Frippy Jameson  – a rising local star, artist and sculptor based in Old Greenlaw.  Especially known for her horse bronzes https://frippyjameson.com

About Marchmont

  • Marchmont House is a 1750 Palladian mansion near Greenlaw in the Scottish Borders.
  • It was awarded the 2018 Historic Houses/Sotheby’s Award following a seven-year restoration, which was described by the jury as “stunning”.
  • The house has one of the finest Georgian and Arts & Crafts interiors in Scotland.
  • It is open to the public for a limited number of days each year, for tours and special events. 
  • The Marchmont team is dedicated to bringing the house alive as a home for makers and creators, celebrating innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship
  • The Creative Spaces project is entirely privately funded by Marchmont Farms Limited and has not called on grants from the public sector or charities – which are facing immense demands for their limited resources.
  • The studios and workshops have been created by the conversion of a series of 19th-century outbuildings round a courtyard near the house and its spectacular walled garden.
  • The project’s value has already been demonstrated by the establishing of The Marchmont Workshop, which has saved the great 19th-century tradition of Arts & Crafts rush seated ladder back chairs for a new chapter in the Scottish Borders.
  • Visit www.marchmonthouse.com for more information.
  • For information about The Marchmont Workshop see https://themarchmontworkshop.com

About Hugo Burge

  • Director of Marchmont Ventures which is building sustainable creativity in the arts, crafts and purpose driven business.
  • Director of Marchmont Farms Ltd., which operates Marchmont Estate, with a focus on restoring Marchmont House and bringing it back to life after a period of institutional usage.
  • Chairman of Motorway.co.uk, the UK’s fastest growing digital marketplace for selling your car from the comfort of your home. 
  • Former CEO of the Momondo Group which powers pioneering brands that shape and inspire global travel search.  

For media information contact Matthew Shelley at Matthew@ScottishFestivalsPR.Org

or 07786 704 299.