There’s an exciting and innovative multimedia exhibition at the Hub in Eskdalemuir running all through May which features eight artists, some upcoming and some nationally recognised.

The show, ‘Animus ~ art for the world soul’ contains a rich blend of energies with artist’s books and paintings accompanying work in wood, water, willow, metal, glass and stone which visitors are invited to touch.

There’s also a eclectic soundtrack by sound artists both from Scotland and further afield, mixed in with a wide range of music and field sounds. This takes the form of a rising and falling wave, so that if you’re in the gallery for a while you’ll feel the atmosphere shift ~ and if you visit more than once your experience is likely to be completely different.

Also part of the exhibition is ‘Holy Mountains’, a site-specific piece two miles away which visitors are invited to interact with rather than just view.


Here’s a brief bio of each of the artists taking part:





Elizabeth Waugh


Elizabeth is the wise Elder of the group: at eighty-seven, her commitment to her art remains undiminished. She studied with some of the greats of the twentieth century, including Fernand Léger and Henry Moore, and has been a sculptor of high regard for many decades. She delights equally in human and animal forms, especially in motion, and they’re often seen harmoniously intertwined in her beautiful bronzes.




Trevor Leat


Trevor is a renowned sculptor in the very different medium of willow, which he often weaves into colossal forms whose moment of glory comes when they are spectacularly set alight. He shares a love of the curves and symmetry both of the natural world and of human form, which he explores using the sinuous grace of the willow whips.




Sarah Keast


Sarah originally studied geology and geography, and this insight into the forms of the land and sea she depicts shapes her response to it. This is far from a detached, scientific one, however, with many works imbued with a magical, dream-like presence.

As Sarah says, she aims to make her work speak of her human condition and concerns, and is happy when, in doing so, it speaks directly to other people of theirs.



Carolyn Barlow

Carolyn aims to make colours ‘dance’ in three dimensions within the space they illuminate, adding colour to the glass before leading by staining and fusing. The pieces are then shaped into free-standing works as well as window panels, many of which are commissioned or exhibited along with her prints.  Carolyn feels fortunate, in this world of illusory senses, to be able to express her experiences.




Cathy Sidhu



Though Cathy also writes idiosyncratic tales to accompany her work, her intricate and muted paintings often don’t belong to a particular story, but become a portal for the viewer, transporting them into an enchanted realm. In her own words “I’ve always been fascinated by what I call the ‘realm of story’ and art that belongs to that realm. It feels to me as though it is a method of transportation by entrancement and each journey we take has the capacity to enrich us.”





Sam Samson


 Sam is a craftsman who delights in playing with the weathered shapes and textures of old worn wood and revealing the rich secret beauty of grain and colour hidden within its unassuming exterior. Sam’s intent is to ‘take a little time, be still, let the spiritus mundi, Animus, into the crowded mind. Art speaks softly, clearly, soul to soul whilst we are absent one from another.’



Peter Dowden


Peter was a Dry Stone Dyker for fifteen years, during which time he became intimately in touch with the needs of the medium, and felt naturally drawn into hand-carving. His influences are from nature, and he sees his rôle as releasing inherent forms which suggest themselves. His work can be seen all over Scotland, and he’s currently working on a commission for Dalbeattie community Council.





Shenpen Chökyi


Curator of Animus, Shen is a interdisciplinary artist whose mediums include glass, moving image, cameraless photography and writing.

She approaches art as an offering of gratitude to the world soul.


The inspiration for Animus ~ art for the world soul



If you look up the word ‘animus’, a common simple definition is ‘a strong feeling of dislike or hatred’.  But as Jorge Luis Borges said in his Prologue to “El otro, el mismo.”

“It is often forgotten that (dictionaries) are artificial repositories, put together well after the languages they define. The roots of language are irrational and of a magical nature.”


The first use of animus in this hostile sense is not found until the 16th century: before that it’s much more purely reflective of its Latin source, meaning ‘rational soul, mind, life, mental powers; courage, desire”.

Going still further back, one begins to touch the magical nature of the word with its proto-Indo-European root of Ane ~ “to blow, to breathe”; two strikingly similar words with the same ancestor are the Greek anemos, “wind,” and Old Irish animm “soul’.

Another relation is anima “life, breath, soul; a current of air”. From this comes animale “living being, thing that breathes” and animate “to fill with boldness or courage, give life ~ breath ~ to.


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