THREE Borders-based visual artists Anna King, Hayley McCrirrick and Mary Morrison will be holding a special Wild Spaces exhibition, in The Old Squash Court studios as part of the Marchmont House Open Studios Weekend which takes place on May 14 and 15.

The event will also be a chance to meet visual artists and craft makers that have been developed in the historic outbuildings around the Palladian mansion near Greenlaw. 

Another attraction is the chance to go on one of the sculpture tours, and discover the remarkable collection created by Marchmont Director Hugo Burge in the grounds and gardens of the stately home. 

It includes works by Antony Gormley, Eduardo Paolozzi, David Nash, Bernard Meadows, Alexander Macdonald Buchanan, Henry Moore and Keith McCarter.    

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Anna, from Gordon, said: “We all have a love of the natural world and wild spaces, often the forgotten and peripheral spaces – the places at the edge. 

“I’ve always been interested in the places where man and nature meet - the overlooked and unloved margins of our landscape, like the former commercial forestry areas after the trees have been felled.” 

Anna’s work is largely representational while Hayley and Mary are known for their more abstract approach. 

For Anna the exhibition marks a return to Marchmont, as she lived on the estate from 2009-12 and the Old Squash Court was her studio – it still has some of her paint marks on the floor. 

Mary is based in Walkerburn but is from the Isle of Harris and her paintings suggest journeys, edges and shifting tidal lines.

Although the starting point is highly personal, her work speaks to the universal and in preparation for this exhibition, Mary has found a creative connection to the work of Rory McEwen.  Rory was born and raised at Marchmont then had a studio at nearby Fogo.   

Mary said: “I knew little of Rory McEwen’s art and life until last year when I was doing some research ahead of this exhibition. 

“I find Rory’s life inspirational, and have been deeply moved in particular by the paintings of leaves he made in the late 1970s ahead of his early death.

“Although our work is visually very different, I feel there is a link in the attempt to capture the transient and fragile qualities of nature and time while referencing an autobiographical journey connected with specific places.”  

One of the pieces on display during the weekend is a large work commissioned by Hugo Burge in 2017 of the beautiful but rundown glasshouses in the walled garden. 

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Anna said: “The glasshouses were about to be restored as part of the ongoing renovation of Marchmont house and the estate, so it was really special to be able to make a record them in their state of wild and overgrown decay.” 

Hayley, based in Selkirk, combines natural materials and traditional craft technique to inform and inspire her work on cloth and paper.

For this exhibition Hayley will be showing work inspired by the colours and materials gathered in and around the Old Squash Court. 

Mary will be presenting pieces inspired by the artistic process of Rory McEwen (who was born and raised at Marchmont then had a studio at nearby Fogo), particularly in his botanical works, which capture the transient and fragile qualities of nature and time while referencing an autobiographical journey connected with specific places.  

Visitors will also be able to browse and buy at a Makers’ Market featuring Julia Linstead’s glass, Pauline Burbridge’s textiles, Martha Ellis’ art, Luke Batchelor’s stone carving, Marianne Hazelwood’s botanical painting.

There will be two social enterprise stalls supported by the Marchmont Maker’s Foundation – one for ReTweed and the other for Garvald members to sell their textiles, woodwork and glass. 

There will be art workshops for children run by Georgie Faye using clay, printing and gold leaf - inspired by Marchmont House and the estate. 

On Sunday Marchmont welcomes the Compact Disco Defender, which will be driving in to play some chilled out tunes. 

Food offerings include Marchmont Housekeepers’ Home Baking stall, The Big Blu wood fired pizzas, Bean N Gone coffee cart and some salads from the house Chef, Margareta. 

Lucy Brown, Managing Director of The Marchmont Makers Foundation, who is helping organise the Open Studios, said: “If you enjoy art and craft and fabulous countryside then our Open Studios Weekend is perfect for you.  

“It’s a lovely chance to meet artists and makers, see their work, browse a Makers’ Market and enjoy some great food before taking one of the sculpture tours round Marchmont’s beautiful gardens.” 

The Open Studios, event is free (there is a £3 suggested donation to the Foundation) but with timed ticketing – so visitors need to book in advance. Dogs on leads are welcome. 

Full details and booking for 14 and 15 May are available on EventBrite.