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Zembla Gallery Womersley
Exhibition Opens
Dear Supporters,

A new exhibition of works inspired by Peter Womersley's architecture has opened at Zembla Gallery in Hawick.  Entitled simply 'WOMERSLEY' it features the work of twelve artists and architects. In the words of Brian Robertson:
 
"We've long held an ambition to celebrate the marvellous works of the architect Peter Womersley (1923-93). Now, at last, it's happening; we have invited the following twelve artists/architects to make a work in response to his iconic buildings, many of which are here in the Scottish Borders.
 
Angela Bell
Felicity Bristow
Ellie Edmondson
Neil Gillespie
Andrew Miller
Jim Pattison
Simon Phipps
Meg Shirayama
Paul Stallan
Karlyn Sutherland 
Ally Wallace
Rhona Warwick Paterson
 
We've given everyone carte blanche to come up with their own take on Womersley's works, just as the architect could move between commissions for small private houses to pioneering organ transplantation units, from boilerhouses to football pitch stands.  He had no house style, each project was unique. He said “My approach to architecture is relatively simple: I try and give delight.” That key word, delight.
 
We think this will be a very special show and we are looking forward to seeing what our contributing artists have come up with."
 
Having opened on Saturday, August 7, the exhibition runs until Saturday 28 August and is by appointment only. Robertson explains that they will have to limit numbers at any one time into the gallery space and take several other necessary measures, including social distancing, collection of contact details for track and trace, face coverings indoors etc. to prevent possible transmission of Covid-19. Your safety is their principal concern. Light refreshments will be provided outdoors but under cover. Full wheelchair access throughout. (Please park on Stirches Road so that they can use all of their outdoor space for blue badged vehicles and social distancing; thank you for your understanding.)
 
Please contact brianrobertson7011@gmail.com or call Brian on 07843 625232 for further information.
 
Images and further news about this group show can also be seen on Zembla's Instagram.
  
Zembla - a gallery for contemporary art.
Little Lindisfarne
Stirches Road
Hawick TD9 7HF
Scottish Borders.

PW has been given permission by the artists to feature two of the works included in the show.


Click here to see Ally Wallace's animation of his own drawings of the Gala Fairydean Stand.

Click here to see Neil Gillespie's booklet 'Dreams of Kagawa', a reflection on the works of Peter Womersley.

We hope this glimpse of the works on display will tempt those of you who are lucky enough to be in or near the Borders this month to visit this important exhibition.
On the Radar
This past year, with its disruptions and limitations, has made progress difficult on many fronts, not least in efforts to find a solution to the ongoing deterioration in the condition of the Klein Studio, a problem whose resolution remains out of reach. 

Dark clouds do on occasion, though, reveal their silver linings. 

After a fireat High Sunderland, causing  damage to interior finishes and structural damage to the roof, architects Loader Monteith were called in by the current owners to advise and then manage the restoration and improvements to the energy efficiency of the building.  The work now complete, they have provided a compelling account of their the project, which you can see here.  It gives hope that when the time comes the talent and discriminating good sense required to honour Womersley's original vision is alive and well and active in Scotland.

And on a similar note, the work continues at Gala Fairydean football stand.  As an aside, Professor Neil Gillespie, whose work for Zembla we highlighted above, is, through his Edinburgh based practice, Reiach and Hall Architects, involved in this work, which we reported on last year.
A Call for Help
Professor Neil Jackson RIBA FSA, Professor Emeritus, Liverpool School of Architecture and President of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, is in the process of gathering material and researching the work of Peter Womersley, for inclusion in a book to be published by the Liverpool University Press in March 2022.

He is keen to make contact with anyone who had personal or professional contact with Peter Womersley, or who has knowledge of material which might help his research into specific projects whether completed, already demolished, or abandoned before completion.

If you think you can be of help please send an email to preserving.womersley@gmail.com
and we will pass on your contact information to Neil.
New on the PW Website
Over the last year, while opportunities to progress the PW agenda might have been limited by the pandemic, work on developing the website as a depository of all things Womersley has continued apace.

Take a look at these additions:
  • The Architecture: a gallery of black and white photographs of significant Scottish Borders buildings designed by Womerlsey and on which his reputation was built.
  • The Architect: articles on the broader subject of Womersley and his work as opposed to individual buildings, including an appreciation by Brian Robertson of Zembla Gallery
  • Works: new content covering Farnley Hey, Womersley's iconic first commission, including a short film by Andrew Spicer of Fairholme Films; a thesis written by Robbie Macfarlane studying the sad history and eventual abandonment of Womersley's design for the Edinburgh College of Art.
We are currently working with RIBA to get permission to reproduce in full their feature article published in May 1969 based on Womerlsey's lecture on their behalf in that year.

Take a moment to explore these and the other delights that await you!
There's a 'Womersley Moment' underway, which with any luck will bring better fortune to the Klein Studio before too long - and of course we are at the crest of a wave of interest in the work of Bernat Klein, driven by Shelley Klein's book and the excellent work of the Bernat Klein Foundation. Take a look.

A little closer to home, we are sorry to lose the insight and support of Colin MacLean, who has moved on to other projects.  We thank him for his invaluable support over the last couple of years, and wish him well in his current pursuits.

Preserving Womersley
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