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Borders Sculpture Park at Mellerstain House

30 Sep 2018

The Messenger exhibition has been running over 2018 at the Borders Sculpture Park in the grounds of Mellerstain House. We found time to visit several times over the summer months and have just loved it! It’s only 10 minutes from Dod Mill and has the added bonus of the excellent Hoebridge Café in the grounds. My children would definitely agree that cultural trips should always be followed by a squidgy brownie or carrot cake!

There are four sculptures dotted around the gardens, all new works by artist Hilary Jack. Her inspiration has come from interesting characters from Mellerstain throughout its history. Through them she makes some more political statements on our times – especially in her No Borders work which proclaims “No borders, just horizons, only freedom” in neon lights. It’s a quote from pioneer aviator and feminist icon Amelia Earheart.

Each of works at the 2018 Borders Sculpture Park is completely different in form and style. In Memoriam is a huge crop-circle style work, painted on the lawn in front of the house – tennis court style! It’s definitely my favourite. Apparently the late 13th Earl was a bit of an expert in the paranormal and crop circles in particular – and the work acts as a memorial to him. It also mirrors the famous Robert Adam ceiling rose designs inside the house.

My three little people loved the Look Out. It was designed to reflect the Peel Towers of the Borders and even has a little button to “Press for Smoke”. More grown-up is The Messenger. Hilary Jack has given Mellerstain’s Hermes statue (Greek mythology’s messenger to the gods) a replacement staff, in neon orange perspex. It’s a symbol of one of Mellerstain’s great love stories – just one of the “hidden histories” the artist has uncovered.

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