South Scotland

Kelso art competition winner revealed

Kelsae stone
Image caption Jake Harvey's Kelsae stone will be sited in the heart of Kelso following a public artwork competition

The winner has been announced in a £40,000 competition to produce a new public artwork to be placed in the centre of a Scottish Borders town.

Jake Harvey's Kelsae stone will be sited in front of Kelso Town Hall.

The project was funded by supermarket firm Sainsbury's after it opened a store in the area.

Mr Harvey said he hoped the community would get a "sense of pride and pleasure from the completed work" which should be finished early next year.

His design was selected from four shortlisted through an open competition run by the Kelso Stakeholder Group.

Mr Harvey grew up in the Borders and attended Kelso High School.

He became Professor of Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art in 2000.

Charlie Robertson, who chairs the Kelso Stakeholder Group, said he was pleased with the final selection.

"When we started the process of selecting an artwork we gave it the title 'Kelsae' and challenged the entrants to produce works which epitomised what this meant," he said.

"We feel that the stone encapsulates the past, present and future of Kelso in an original, innovative and visually stimulating way and that it will quickly become a much loved feature of the square.

"Not only will it enhance the square, it will also spread the good name of Kelso to an even wider audience."

Mr Harvey said he was delighted his design had been chosen.

"The prospect of creating a significant work that complements the space and is an enduring embodiment of Kelso has great resonance for me," he said.

"I have a life-long association with the local area, and reference points in the town and the local landscape have inspired my work for close to 50 years."

He added that he looked forward to working with the people of Kelso when the inscription phase of the work began.

An opportunity for the public to hear the sculptor talk about his Kelsae proposal in depth will be organised in August.

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