Bonchester Bridge mum’s climate change artwork wows judges

Gemma’s painting shows the moment the bistro wall collapsed.Gemma’s painting shows the moment the bistro wall collapsed.
Gemma’s painting shows the moment the bistro wall collapsed.
A mum-of-three from Bonchester Bridge has won a national art competition after highlighting the devastating impact climate change has had on her community.

The Bridge Guest House and Sonia’s Bistro at Sandbed in Hawick fell victim to Storm Ciara back in February 2020, when flood water smashed into the building, causing its corner to collapse into the River Slitrig.

Dramatic images and footage of the event were shared on social media sites at the time.

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They were viewed by budding artist Gemma Lubbock, who had recently re-ignited her love of painting.

She used the images shared online to paint a dramatic depiction of the flood waters crashing against the building.

Gemma entered her painting into Historic Environment Scotland Visions of Climate Heritage national competition, and landed the art category prize and £100.

She said: “I took the image from video that was posted on social media and exaggerated the waters a little to make it more dramatic.

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“It was a bad storm and it was devastating for the people of the town and a real shock because the building had been there for 200 years before that and you just don’t think it is going to be destroyed by nature.

“It was just all about demonstrating the force of nature and how changes in the local environment affect us all.

“I have been painting since my son George was born, just for something to do when I was in the house, so that was about four years ago.

“I took art at school but it was just a question of picking it all back up again.

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“The success has encouraged me to do more paintings. I have done one based on my son, who has type one diabetes, and in the painting he’s holding an insulin pen. I like to put messages in the paintings, so I’m planning to go down that route.”

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