Kelso award-winning artist: ‘not very good at painting’

Image caption, Frippy Jameson lives and works near Kelso in the Scottish Borders

  • Author, David Ferguson
  • Role, BBC Scotland Selkirk
  • Reporting from Kelso

A sculptor from the Borders has taken a place alongside some the UK’s top artists.

Frippy Jameson, who lives and works near Kelso, recently won the Lockbund Award at the Society of Portrait Sculptors’ 60th exhibition.

She admitted she had been delighted just be accepted to exhibit her sculpture of a young girl called Flora, Northumberland.

So she was stunned when told she had beaten well-known artists to the award.

Image caption, Frippy said her award-winning work tested her artistic skills

She said she had been glad just to make it to the exhibition.

“It’s their 60th anniversary and I was thrilled to bits just to be there, as these are the top figurative sculptors in the country,” she said.

“Then the night before I travelled down to London I received an email saying I’d won the Lockbund Award for the best child portrait in the exhibition.

“It is quite career-defining because you spend a lot of time as an artist struggling through other jobs and trying to get to a position where you can actually just sculpt, so to be judged by your peers and selected for something like this is just fantastic.”

Frippy believes the south of Scotland has provided the perfect place for her to enjoy nature and has built a national reputation for life-size sculptures of people and animals, most famously horses.

Image caption, Frippy is best known for her horse sculptures

However, she admits the award-winning piece pushed her to her limits.

“This piece, Flora, was a real test of how far I could take my skills and all the knowledge that I’ve gathered,” she said.

Frippy combined teaching art in schools with various other jobs, before turning to sculpting full-time eight years ago as her talent became more globally-recognised.

She believes Scotland could produce many more sculptors if children were given the chance to learn.

She said: “I’m not very good at painting or drawing, and I think in schools children often say: ‘I can’t do art.’

“But sculpture is quite a different way of thinking, and that’s something I’d like to get more involved in – encouraging children and young adults into sculpture.

“A child who enjoys making lego or building stuff with wood, and just knocking things up, probably has more of that engineering or sculpting mind.”

Her work is on show at the Inception Art Show in Dalkeith Palace from 3 May to 12 May, which is raising funds for the My Name’s Doddie Foundation.

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