For the second year running, we are delighted to showcase and represent five of our tenants at this years Borders Art Fair. You can find Wasps Studios on Stand 44. This year we are representing 5 artists from their Selkirk studios: Alex Hain, Rob Hain, Fiona Millar, Mary Morrison and Alan Richmond. Read on to find out more about this diverse range of brilliant artists.
The Borders Art Fair will run from 15th-17th March and takes place in Springwood Park, Kelso, TD5 8LS. You can find all information about the fair on their website: www.bordersartfair.com
The Selkirk Wasps Studios are housed in St Mary’s Mill – a former working textile mill - and provides space for 12 artists working in a diversity of mediums and styles.
It took Alex almost twenty years to ultimately find himself at a table, drawing out of complete necessity. From those pencil line trails he was finally led to the medium of oil paint, and then to be completely consumed by the process of creating art. Working away at Wasps studios in Selkirk, he is driven to paint seven days a week and finds the act of painting an essential part of his life, encapsulating both his thoughts and feelings, through his signature mark-making. His influences vary, ranging from Pablo Picasso, Joan Eardley and Francis Bacon, to William de Kooning.
"Painting for me is all about expressing things the only way I know how. It's what gets me out of bed in the morning.”
Pictured: Extreme Dining, Rockall
This painting is inspired by my friend Garry Villiers-Stuart who, in 1978, took members of Oxford University's Dangerous Sports Club to the remote, inhospitable Isle of Rockall, in his sailing boat 'Winny'.
The club set up tables, chairs, crockery, cutlery and champagne on the rock, and in full evening dress, engaged in an activity they named 'Extreme Dining' - hence the title of the piece.
Incidentally Graham Chapman, of Monty Python fame, was a member of the club.
I am a self-taught painter, living and working in the Scottish Borders. I work mostly in acrylic, on canvas and board; occasionally creating texture with collage and gold leaf. My landscapes are influenced by the coastlines and rolling hills of Galloway, where I spent a lot of my childhood, whilst my still life paintings often feature elements of my own home and family collections.
I don’t paint from life, but from accumulated memories and ideas formed over the years. A great deal of my inspiration comes from various artists including the Scottish Colourists and the Glasgow Boys and Girls; along with the art deco, art nouveau and arts and crafts movements.
Pictured: Echo II (Oil/mixed media on canvas) 1m x 1m
Mary Morrison is from the Isle of Harris, and her work is concerned with landscape, mapping and identity.
She aims to combine a sense of place in her work with annotation – variously suggesting mapping, measuring and music. Grid references, staves and tide tables are recurring motifs, balanced against fluid paint effects.
She is continually inspired by relationships between the written word and image, with paintings responding to works by Kenneth White, Iain Crichton Smith and the Sufi poet, Rumi for example.
Pictured: Sundown Over Soay, Isle of Skye
The inspiration and motivation behind my work is summed up well in a quote by a photographer I particularly like called Saul Leiter: “I like it when one is not certain what one sees, when we do not know why the photographer has taken a picture and when we do not know why we are looking at it, all of a sudden we discover something that we start seeing. I like this confusion.” In a similar vein, I found that when you look at old and weathered paintwork - especially on abandoned boats - you start seeing what you think to be landscapes, but they’re not there at all, they just appear to be. Then I noticed that sometimes the landscape you find the boats in seems to be reflected in the paintwork of that boat. What I am endeavouring to do is to reproduce that effect, not copy it, but use it as a reference or starting point.
I like working with ‘intentional accidents’ engineering unexpected effects. What the viewer brings is a personal interpretation and their own imagination.