At a special event at Marchmont House in the Borders this weekend, Richard Demarco CBE will speak about the ‘daunting future’ for Scottish sculpture.

Artists, curators, auctioneers, dealers and art enthusiasts will gather this weekend for Exploring Modern Scottish Sculpture @ Marchmont House, an 18th century Palladian mansion.

Those attending the event will have the opportunity to see the collection of modern UK sculpture which has been gathered at Marchmont. It will also offer the opportunity of shining a light on artists from Paolozzi to Poulsen, and the discussion will undoubtedly include reference to David Mach and Ian Hamilton Finlay. The William Turnbull sculpture in the grounds of Marchmont is a good example of what Scottish artists have produced.

Richard Demarco CBE

Demarco will be part of a panel of speakers from public and independent groups discussing how they are supporting the arts in Scotland and what more can be done.

He said: “Scottish sculpture has been under-celebrated even though the country has been home to some highly important sculptors.”

Demarco will say that Scotland and its politicians need to develop bold initiatives to celebrate its artists, inspire new generations and put art at the heart of society.

He said: “The task facing our art world is daunting when I compare Scotland to Italy where, in the heart of the Tuscan hills, is the incomparable collection created by Giuliano Gori in what is known as La Fattoria di Celle.

“Our Scottish politicians should consider the fact that Joseph Beuys’ concept of sculpture was defined as ‘social sculpture’ signifying that the art of the sculptor should be identified with the reshaping of the structure of human society.”

He believes the work already taking place to make Marchmont House a centre for Scottish visual arts and craft gives some cause for hope. Marchmont recently underwent a restoration and the goal is now to bring the house alive as a ‘Home for Makers and Creators’.

Demarco said: “Happily, Marchmont House gives me good cause to believe in the future of modern art in Scotland now it is once again securely identified with the patronage of the visual arts.  

“This is due to the extraordinary commitment of Hugo Burge to identify the inspiring Palladian architecture of Marchmont House with the language of the visual arts expressed in an art collection of international significance.”

Exploring Modern Scottish Sculpture @ Marchmont House is supported by Edinburgh-based Lyon & Turnbull and London gallery Pangolin. 

It is the second in a year long series of events promoting Scottish art that has been organised by Marchmont House in collaboration with Lyon & Turnbull fine art auctioneers.

Those taking part include Scottish artists David Mach RA and Kenny Hunter, senior curators and academics such as Bill Hare and Alice Strang, and visual and performing arts champion Andrew Patrizo.

Art Pictured in the grounds of Marchmont House with a sculpture made with burnt oak is Marchmont House owner Hugo Burge. Photography for Marchmont House Estates from: Colin Hattersley Photography – – 07974 957 388.

Marchmont’s Director Hugo Burge, said: “It is an honour to have Richard Demarco return to Marchmont, where he previously worked with the McEwen family to support Scottish arts – to build on the creative DNA the house has had and to look to the future. I’m excited we will be hosting a magical collection of artists, experts and enthusiasts to celebrate the subject of modern Scottish Sculpture, celebrate hidden stories and celebrate a purposeful future for the role of art in Scotland. 

“In a new development, I’m over the moon to announce that we are also working with the Tim Stead Trust to give a taster of this powerful story of an important art environmentalist that should be more widely known about. The Scottish Borders is a fertile landscape of amazing creativity and our hope is that Marchmont can play a role in supporting that.”

Pictured in the grounds of Marchmont House with a sculpture made with burnt oak is Marchmont House owner Hugo Burge. Photography for Marchmont House Estates from: Colin Hattersley Photography – – 07974 957 388.

Philip Smith, Associate Director of Lyon & Turnbull, said: “We are delighted to be part of such an exciting movement to promote Scottish. Marchmont is the perfect location to host a forum, the presentation of such a wonderful contemporary sculpture collection in an historic Scottish setting will make for a truly unique event.”

The tour of the sculpture at Marchmont House will include work by William Turnbull, Gerald Laing, Eduardo Paolozzi, Steve Dilworth, Tim Stead, Rory McEwen and locally based artists Keith McCarter, Charlie Poulsen and Frippy Jameson. 

Richard Demarco CBE is an artist and promoter of the visual and performing arts. He has been one of Scotland’s most influential advocates for contemporary art through his work at the Richard Demarco Gallery and the Demarco European Art Foundation, as well as his professorship at Kingston University in London. His contributions to contemporary art internationally have been recognised on numerous occasions, receiving the Polish Gold Order of Merit, the Cavaliere della Repubblica d’Italia, the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres de France and the Commander of the British Empire.

He was co-founder of the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh in 1963. Three years later he and other organisers of the gallery space left the Traverse to establish what became the Richard Demarco Gallery. For many years, the Gallery promoted cross-cultural links, both in terms of presenting artists such as Marina Abramovic within Scotland and in establishing outgoing connections for Scottish artists across Europe. Since the early 1990s, Richard Demarco’s activity has been manifested through the Demarco European Art Foundation.