A lovely opening evening


duck at the Hirsel

This is the scene that greeted me as I arrived at the Hirsel – delivering my sculpture to the White Fox Gallery – the gallery overlooks breathtaking views of the lake and woodlands.

Homestead Arts at the Hirsel

The gallery nestles in a small cluster of buildings which make up the Hirsel Homestead Centre for Arts and Crafts in Coldstream (Scottish Borders).

White Fox Gallery, Hirsel

It is an exciting time delivering sculpture to a gallery.  Pieces for the exhibition have taken months to make and now here they all are, gathered together in a clean, bright, spacious and new environment, set on their plinths, organised and displayed at their best.   I left them all in the capable hands of the gallery’s owner Virginie to make final preparations for the preview later in the week.  I went off to explore the Hirsel.

Sculpture at the Hirsel

There are a series of walks around the Hirsel and Homestead and despite the onset of rain, I set off.  At the entrance to the Hirsel is a sculpture of Sir Alec Douglas-Home (one time Prime Minister and 14th Earl of Home – Lord Home of the Hirsel) surrounded by stone carvings and a commemorative stone lettered plaque.

sculpture of Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I followed the path and fence round into the woodland – it was damp and lush – a small stream which fed into the lake created a dank boggy area in high contrast to the new fresh leaves just breaking through on the branches above.

rusty fence and railings

Stream in the woodland

Eventually it led round to the lake, which is surrounded by reeds creating a sort of golden border, a rustling, tall stemmed, feathery mass which was filled with birdlife and birdsounds and calls, some of which I didn’t recognise.  High pitched warbling, exotic burbling, deep cooing, shrill twittering.  I saw birds, flitting, and followed sounds, which stopped abruptly, then started again elsewhere, out of reach.

Hirsel lake through the reeds

reeds lakeside

Newly pollarded willows stood lakeside – knobbly sentinel sculptures.

newly pollarded willow

pollarded willow


There is a vast walled garden with a row of bee hives, banks of bluebells and I think the largest tree I have ever seen.  I was overawed by its hugeness.  Some of its branches were held up with wires and chains.  Occasionally the view opened up to the imposing sight of the Hirsel.

Walled garden

Entrance to the walled garden


huge tree

tree with chains

The Hirsel

Returning on preview night, the weather was warm and still, and the evening sun glowed.  Nibbles, refreshments, beautiful hosting and welcomes from Virginie and Stephen, introductions, talking, laughing, sunshine streams through the gallery windows making shadows on sculpture.  I did a little demonstration and some visitors took up the chisel and carved marks on stone.  Thanks to all who came, talked, listened, asked questions and said lovely things about my work, and I feel very proud to say that some pieces have found new homes.

As I left at the end of a happy, most enjoyable evening, I glanced back at the lake – glistening and being beautiful.

geese on the lake


The exhibition of my stone sculpture runs until 31st May, 2015 at the White Fox Gallery, The Hirsel, Coldstream.





  1. Comment by Alistair Park:

    What a beautiful and inspiring place to show your work! Good luck with the show

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Thankyou – there’s a little museum here too, with objects found during an archaeological dig on site – ancient bottles and stones! Think I’ll take my sketch book when I go back at the beginning of June.

  2. Comment by Amanda:

    It is a very lovely place , like the old wall and the trees, it’s going to be a wonderful place for your art, I wish you well and lot’s of people come to see your work.
    Amanda xx

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Thankyou Amanda – I love walled gardens don’t you, and that little door – promising lots beyond! Just round the corner there was a large entrance with iron gates, through which I saw greenhouses and the remnants of gravel paths. Thanks for your wishes, I hope lots of people visit too.

  3. Comment by Annie:

    So much texture in the images you’ve chosen to share … I love it!

    Wishing you lots more sales before the end of the month :o)

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Oh, thanks Annie – interesting that we all see different things in the same scene

  4. Comment by countrysidetales:

    Glorious setting and congratulations on your sales- richly deserved.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Combined made for a very special and exciting evening!

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