Artists set to bloom after winning Marchmont residencies

Two more artists have won opportunities to practice their craft Marchmont Estate, near Greenlaw, this summer.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 11:04 am
Helen Flockhart, left, and Laura Derby, artists with Wasps Studios, visit Marchmont House ahead of their funded summer residencies. Photo: Martin Shields.
Helen Flockhart, left, and Laura Derby, artists with Wasps Studios, visit Marchmont House ahead of their funded summer residencies. Photo: Martin Shields.

Emerging from a partnership between Scotland’s national provider of studios, Wasps, and Marchmont Estate, two artists who take nature as inspiration – textile specialist Laura Derby, and Helen Flockhart, an artist whose chosen medium is oils – will join the growing artistic community at Marchmont in August as fully-funded residencies.

Helen said: “I'm delighted to have been given this opportunity. This is a new experience for me – my first residency – and having just worked through four consecutive years for three solo shows, I'm excited to see what work will ensue as a result of immersing myself in all the visual, historical and creative stimuli that Marchmont has to offer.”

Director of the mid-18th century Palladian house, Hugo Burge, is creating a hub for creators and makers in the region.

Marchmont is expanding its mission to support artistic vision, and since building renovations began in 2011 the estate’s stables have been converted to artist studios and the former garage is now a workshop space. Marchmont is currently home to six artists and creators, with more joining the community later this year.

Part of Marchmont Estate includes the former studio of one of Scotland’s most versatile creative figures of the last century, polymath Rory McEwen, a leading figure in the folk music scene from the late 1950s and a pioneer of botanical and multimedia art.

Despite having received no formal graduate training in art, Rory became one of the most gifted botanical artists of the 20th century.

During the residency Laura will be working in Rory’s former studio in the village of Fogo, three miles from Marchmont House.

Laura told us: “Lucky me to get to spend a month to live and work in Rory McEwen's studio.

"His botanical works seem to glow with awe at the miracle of life and I hope that some of the embodiment of appreciation he has enabled rubs off in my work. Ideally, I would like to impart appreciation of this gift of life we have, and what a great opportunity for me to try through this residency at Marchmont.”