Selkirk: Casting the Net Opening Day Events


Fresh fish from Eyemouth ready to be filleted by Billy Clansman Aitchison in the Market Square

What a great start to the Casting the Net fortnight – thank you and well done to everyone involved in the Selkirk Opening Day, we had a great turn out to the venues and the fish gutting and over 60 people attended the live performance by James Wyness in Rowland’s (Selkirk).



Billy Clansman Aitchison in the Market Square, Selkirk, demonstrating the art of gutting and filleting fish & dressing crabs





s1 No. 1 Tower Street Open and ready for visitors, with around 30 visitors over the afternoon




s3 No. 48 West Port Open and ready for visitors, again busy and serving welcome refreshments





Installation in window and textile work on the pedestrian barrier outside Rowland’s by Casting the Net artist, Mark Timmins


Curator Helen Douglas with Casting the Net artist, Mary Morrison



Window installation (set of windows to the right of the front door) by Rowland’s (Selkirk) Youth Group


s4 24-26 West Port, Rowland’s (Selkirk) Opening Day:

The Rowland’s Youth group members and volunteers ran a great coffee afternoon which was kept very busy all afternoon, and was a great place to warm up and catch up with people while looking at the art installations they had made.


Curators of Casting the Net – Helen Douglas and Keith Alexander giving a speech at Rowland’s (Selkirk)

Everyone is looking forward to the countdown to Eyemouth next weekend…6 days to go!

(images by CtN volunteer photographer Isabell Buenz and curator Helen Douglas)


Casting the Net **OPENING DAY** (Selkirk) Events and exhibitions open from 2pm…



Casting the Net bkltpge 4&5 Events


It is opening day and here are the events unfolding today – come along and support contemporary art in the Borders and see how empty spaces can be regenerated and (we hope you agree) be transformed into interesting and stimulating exhibition spaces showcasing the talent of artists working in Scotland. More to follow later…

Work continues at No. 1 Tower Street and Casting the Net artist, Natasha Smith drops by…

Yesterday work continued on getting No. 1 Tower Street, Selkirk prepared. Keith Alexander was joined by Lawrence Robertson of Selkirk Regeneration Company (thank you!) who have taken on the ownership of No. 1 described as ‘…the derelict shop at the foot of Tower Street.   The windows have now been repaired, and we are seeking funding to renovate the inside.  The long-term vision is for it to be useful community resource.’

Casting the Net artist, Natasha Smith, came in with some of her work to try out in the space so we could see how it looked in the light. No. 1 is looking dazzling with its fresh coat of white paint and there has been alot of interest from people passing and looking into the shop.


detail coffee fossilcrop




Some snaps of Natasha’s work before is it exhibited,  beautifully carved into pieces of slate and sandstone. Please look at her website at for more of her work and have a look on our artists page to read more about Natasha’s approach to Casting the Net.

Working party starts on No. 1 Tower Street & Border Cloth, High Street (Selkirk):

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Well, we have woken up to a dreich Saturday morning but, today is the day we strip out the Selkirk venues – No. 1 Tower Street and Border Cloth, High Street. There was snow in Selkirk when we all arrived!


The shop units have not been used for a while but after a good clean (even the windows today!) and some repairs we will give them a couple of coats of white emulsion and they will be transformed. No. 1 Tower Street is a great light space with large windows to two sides, these windows will display works by Jill Watson and Natasha Smith. The space will also have work exhibited by Mary Morrison and James Wynesss’ sound piece inspired by the Eyemouth ice house.

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By 5pm this evening we had transformed No. 1, the sun came out (and although showed up a few smears on our newly cleaned windows…) the space looks clear, bright and like a gallery space.

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Border Cloth on the High Street is the perfect venue to exhibit the work of Catriona Taylor & Stuart Delves – there is a water supply, we can black the space out and it is large enough for the ‘tank’ so people can move around it. The windows were washed and the space swept and tidied all ready for the installation of the work.

IMG-20130316-00847There was great interest in the work we were doing today, many passers by stopped to ask what the shop would be and were interested to hear how it would be used. There was also alot of positive feedback about how the space was looking. We had a visit from Margaret Sweetnam who is co-ordinating the pop up shop initiative in Selkirk, she very kindly brought us tea and coffee and a wonderful bag with hand knitted family Gansey’s, old family photographs of her grandmother who was one of the last fishwives in Musselburgh. It was amazing to see her grandmother carrying her creel of fish to sell to the town houses in the New Town, Edinburgh. We are going to try and record all these ‘memories’ during the project – so much local history is coming to light in the stories people are telling.