Kelso offered a say in design of artwork for Square

THE artist commissioned to create a new sculpture for the centre of Kelso has appealed to people living in the area to get involved in the project.

Morebattle-based Paul Grime has prepared some questions about people’s favourite buildings, objects and memories, and will use those ideas to create a public sculpture that will stand in the town’s Square.

“It’s a chance for people in and around Kelso to have a say in what goes into the public art design,” Mr Grime told TheSouthern.

“We’d like to know what’s important to people, and what they might like to see reflected in a public artwork. You don’t need to be arty to take part, and suggestions from every age group are welcome

“The questions are fun, and designed to stir your imagination, memories and feelings about the town.”

The public art project is being funded by Sainsburys, which opened a store in the town in the autumn, and will tie in with current Kelso Streetscape and Town Heritage Initiative improvements.

The whole streetscape project is being overseen by a team from Scottish Borders Council. The sculpture commission will have its own Facebook page and website so that everyone can get involved.

Mr Grime added: “At this stage, the design is still open, but we know it will draw on the rich heritage of the Kelso townscape and surrounding landscape. I’m excited to hear everyone’s ideas and see what emerges.”

Mr Grime, a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art and has lived in the Borders since 1995. He has created prestigious public art commissions for Edinburgh University, the Royal Oldham Hospital, the Scottish Mining Museum and many other bodies.

He has also studied mural painting and pre-Columbian art in the United States and Mexico, and created street murals on Edinburgh’s Princes Street with artist Mike Greenlaw.

Mr Grime, who is also a member of Morebattle Community Council, and his family are very active in the Borders arts scene.

His wife Helen Kemp is a widely-exhibited ceramic artist, and their daughters, Laura and Lindsay, went to Kelso High School and have followed in their creative parents’ footsteps.

Laura studied traditional music at Newcastle University and is a music teacher and performer based in Old Melrose. Lindsay recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in illustration, and is a freelance illustrator in Paris.

Anyone who would like to take part, should visit the website, www.kelsopublicart.co.uk to fill in the questionnaire, or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KelsoPublicArt.

You can also pick up a form from Kelso Library.