New gallery opens

Artist Sheila Mullen and curator Andrew Brown at the new Clock Tower Gallery, Glen House.
Artist Sheila Mullen and curator Andrew Brown at the new Clock Tower Gallery, Glen House.

The new Clock Tower Gallery at Glen House near Innerleithen, is Scotland’s latest contemporary arts venue.

Its first exhibition features the work of noted, but recently less exhibited Scottish painter, Sheila Mullen.

Glasgow Art School graduate Sheila has devoted her life to recording in large lyrical oils the magical landscape of the Kinnel Valley in Annandale and to depicting the area’s rich folklore and poetic traditions.

Although Sheila’s work is held in the collections of the Bank of Scotland, Leeds City Art Gallery and the Duke of Buccleuch, her marvelously expressive pictures have not to date received the widespread promotion they deserve.

This small but comprehensive exhibition focuses on her early expressionist landscapes, which have lain almost forgotten in an old steading. The show has been curated by artist and critic Andrew Brown, who ran Edinburgh’s 369 Gallery in the 1980s, giving talented artists like Lil Neilson, Carole Gibbons, Fionna Carlisle, Sheila Mullen and many others a chance to exhibit to a wider public, often for the first time.

The Clock Tower Gallery was conceived by husband and wife team Bill Staempfli and Tessa Tennant in order to provide a unique space to showcase some of Scotland’s outstanding creative talent.

They said: “The idea for the Clock Tower Gallery emerged earlier this summer following a visit, at Andrew Brown’s suggestion, to Sheila’s rural home and studio in Annandale, Dumfriesshire. Sheila led us to a disused steading and introduced, picture-by-picture her remarkable collection. Surely such talent, her lifetime’s work - piles of stunning pictures - should not be languishing in her damp chicken shed in the remote Scottish countryside?

“We decided that afternoon that Glen House, one of Scotland’s finest baronial houses, might be able to help play a role in championing the work of noted by less visible artists like Sheila Mullen. She loved the idea.”

The exhibition will run until February 28. The gallery is open by appointment only - call Andrew Brown 07913 025 022 or email

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