Anne Redpath, born in Galashiels

I have loved the work of Anne Redpath for a long time. When I discovered that she was born in Galashiels, I decided to make a Woolly bag inspired by one of her paintings called Landscape, Kyleakin for the fibre festival, Tangled Galashiels.

Anne was born on 29th March 1895 into a family that had lived in the Scottish Borders for generations. Her father was initially a pattern weaver at a mill in Galashiels and then promoted to head of design at another mill in Hawick. She began her studies at Edinburgh College of Art in 1913 and on graduating travelled extensively throughout Europe on various awards and scholarships, eventually moving to Europe in 1920 with her husband. She returned to Scotland in 1934, heading back to Hawick. A visit to Skye in 1946 provided the inspiration for her oil painting of Kyleakin, a port opposite mainland Scotland and the ferry terminal of Kyle of Lochalsh.  She completed the picture between 1958 and 1960. Passing away in January 1965, she was remembered not just as an artist but as a kind, courageous, sensitive, extrovert woman who loved to burn the candle at both ends!

I chose to interpret her Kyleakin land and seascape as the rich palette of colours and the horizontal design seemed suitable for construction as a Woolly Originals bag. I created the background wool fabric to resemble tweed to honour her family’s background in the Borders, using undyed Shetland wool and plant dyed Bearford Originals yarns. Buttons, beads and coloured stitching threads were used to convey the houses, boats and two trees in her painting. Brass sequins were added to suggest a shoal of herring.

The bag is lined with a red organic dry waxed cotton fabric with three internal slip pockets. The two long handles are made from undyed organic hemp.




Bourne, P, 1989, Anne Redpath 1895-1965, Atelier Books, Edinburgh

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