Excitement at art fair’s return with colourful array

A colourful array of 74 artists, makers, galleries, studios and collectives has been unveiled for this year’s Borders Art Fair (BAF).

Many like glassmaker Julia Linstead of Coldstream, Berwickshire, are from towns and villages in The Borders, but others are based elsewhere in Scotland and northern England such as Christine Clark from Edinburgh.

BAF had to be cancelled last year due to COVID but will be making a welcome return from 25 to 27 March, at the Borders Event Centre in Kelso.

Julia, whose glassware is hand formed and features sandblasted designs of birds, plants and animals, said: ‘Due to COVID this will be my first public exhibition since the BAF of spring 2020 – and I am looking forward to it with such excitement.

‘So many artists have now been squirreled away for such a long time that it will be liberating to get back out of their workshops and to mix with the public and other artists once again.

‘The exhibitors at BAF include painters, sculptors, original print-makers, digital artists, illustrators and others – presenting work at prices to suit all tastes and pockets. Christine’s paintings aim to reflect the beauty of the human spirit as it turns to nature for renewal.’

She said: ‘I’m delighted to have this opportunity to platform my work amongst my contemporaries. Being present with my paintings is a lovely way to connect with clients, discussing ideas and thought process.

‘I’m hugely looking forward to the event, it’s always thrilling to explore other artists’ work in a dynamic creative environment.’

Others taking part include the well-known painter Julie Dumbarton who works from her studio in Langholm, stone cutter Michelle de Bruin and sculptor Richard Goldsworthy, who have studios at Marchmont House near Greenlaw, The Moy Mackay Gallery from Peebles, painter Audrey Slorance, from Aberfeldy and The Whitehouse Gallery from Kirkudbright.

Glassmaker Julia Linstead of Coldstream, Berwickshire (Photo: Colin Hattersley)

BAF will also feature a variety of online workshops, demonstrations and talks that will allow visitors to learn more about the artists and their techniques.

Frances Fergusson, BAF director, said: ‘It’s a great feeling to be bringing Borders Art Fair back after the pandemic, and all the more so because we have got such a superb range of exhibitors – many from the region and others coming to Kelso from far and wide to take part.

‘There will be a real pleasure in getting back together in person to browse stalls, see the art in reality and chat to the artists and makers in person about their work.’

In addition to the event itself there will be tours of the stunning art collection at Marchmont House, Greenlaw, on 26 and 27 March.

BAF has also teamed up with the Royal Society of Arts to present three online talks ahead of the event.

These are:

Heritage Crafts in Scotland and the ‘HCA Red Endangered List’: Mary Lewis, Endangered Crafts Manager, Heritage Crafts Association. Tuesday, 15 March, 6-7.15pm

The Art of Craft: a new age of making? Irene Kernan – Director, Craft Scotland and Catherine Holden – Chairman, Craft Scotland. Monday, 21 March, 6-7.15pm

A Perspective on Scottish Art. James Knox, Director, Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation. Tuesday, 22 March, 6-7.15pm.

For the full line-up of exhibitors, details of the talks and further information about BAF see