Sculptor Jake will create Kelsae art in town square

Jake Harvey's winning 'Kelsae' sculpture
Jake Harvey's winning 'Kelsae' sculpture

Maxton sculptor Jake Harvey has won the £40,000 Sainsbury’s Public Art Competition and will install his Kelso stone design in the town’s square.

The respected artist was one of four on the Kelso Stakeholder Group’s short leet.

Chairman of the group, Charlie Robertson said: “We were absolutely unanimous. The piece of work had to be called Kelsae and it had to epitomise what that means to the people of Kelso. The Kelsae stane, with all the imagery that lies behind it, was the one, there was no doubt about it in our minds.”

The Edinburgh College of Art sculpture professor plans to install a monumental stone, to be like a section of the landscape and made of a similar material to the town’s cobbles, which will ‘grow’ out of the existing historic surface in the Square.

Jake, originally from Yetholm, said: “The Borders is very much embedded within me and remains an important touchstone for my sculpture. To have the opportunity to make a significant work in the locale where I’ve always lived and encountered all manner of formative input and experience feels like a very special privilege.”

He will encourage the local communities in and around Kelso to nominate a representative to handwrite their place name which will then be enlarged to allow the artist to engrave it into the flanks of the stone. He hopes to source the stone next month and complete the work by June next year.

More than 250 comments were made by the public in the open competition which were used to help choose the winner.