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A Tale of Two Towns

Born in Peebles, and then educated in Edinburgh and at art college in Aberdeen, Philip’s professional life saw him work as an art teacher at Selkirk High, as well as at various Borders primary schools, Borders College and in private classes.

Now retired from teaching, he has lived on Peebles High Street for the past 40 years – an observational position in the heart of the town that has helped fuel his work as a painter.

“These paintings are a selection from a large and varied output over many years – paintings of inner worlds and outer circumstances,” explained Philip. “Sometimes the outer circumstances are the streets, the river and hillsides immediately around us, and these are the focus of this exhibition.”

There are also, he added, paintings that seek the essential character of the town and display the contrast with the “other place” just 20 miles away.

“There are paintings that engage with community concerns and anxieties, the swelling suburbanisation, the flood-vulnerable centre, the tensions of environment, private cars and public transport,” continued Philip.

“There are paintings that show a tiny city – not quaint, countrified and folksy, but urban, European and connected, as are the lives of many residents of this town.”

Peebles and the Other Place is on display at the Eastgate Theatre’s Anne Younger Studio until 24 December (10am-5pm, Tues to Sat). A percentage of sales from the exhibition will be donated to the theatre’s Open Doors campaign.