Local artist adds splash of Common-Riding colour to High Street

The anonymous artist's Common-Riding painting
The anonymous artist's Common-Riding painting

An anonymous local artist has generously offered to display artwork in two vacant shop windows on the High Street during the Common-Riding.

Community Council chairperson Marion Short told the Hawick News: “The artist volunteered after reading an article in the paper about shop jackets deflecting the poor state of some of the shop windows, which was a lovely gesture. He thought that anything he could do would add to that project and provide some aesthetic improvement for the High Street.

“He didn’t ask for any money or recognition, he was just happy to help the town. I was gob-smacked that someone could be that nice.”

The paintings are being displayed at the last minute after initial access problems. Marion said: “We had a few little snags with the original shop, so rather than waste the opportunity we approached Jim Hay, the letting agent.

“He is letting the shop out so gave us permission to put one of the paintings in the window opposite the town hall. We put the first piece in last Friday. They’re great paintings and lots of people have seen them. We’re really pleased.”

One of the oil paintings, featuring sheep, is displayed in the former Alldays shop next to Hamish Smith’s Jewellers. The second painting, depicting a scene from the Common-Riding, is in a vacant premises opposite the town hall and is dedicated to the memory of Adam Hepburn, the young man who tragically died recently. Marion added: “It’s a beautiful painting, it’s really tasteful, and because it’s of the Common-Riding it’s relevant. It will be really nice for people to see that rather than a dirty shop window. We’d like to thank the artist very much. The guy who does the window cleaning also kindly did those windows for free so we can all see the paintings properly, which was great. And we’re very grateful to Jim Hay for letting us use the premises.”