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Kilts painting goes global

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Kilts painting goes global

AN artist from Annan, who only took up painting two years ago, has been named a winner in an international competition.

Ilse Woodhouse’s painting has been chosen to represent the UK at the Dubai Expo in a world art and design project run by Swiss watch makers Swatch.

Her ‘Kilts on the Royal Mile’ piece was judged to most sum up the theme of ‘What Makes A Country Tick’.

She was inspired after seeing a photo of her son, Gary, wearing a kilt to a wedding last year.

Ilse said: “I painted it in August especially for the competition. Immediately kilts sprang into my mind.

“When we married in 1989 my husband Bill and his best man turned up in Germany in their kilts and literally stopped the traffic. It was not very often seen then.

“Then in August my son Gary was a best man for his friend, Davy Braithwaite, in Edinburgh and he showed me the picture of them in their kilts and I was so proud. I thought that’s my topic – my son is one of the men in the painting and the groom too.”

She submitted her entry last summer but was totally shocked to find out she’d been selected as one of 80 winners from around the world and said: “Out of the blue came a congratulations letter that my picture which I had submitted had won.

“It was chosen to represent my country, the UK, at the Dubai Expo. The jury has chosen me, from 194 countries.

“It’s really great. I did not believe it, I was even a wee bit suspicious about the email at first but my son said it was real.”

Her piece is now showing on the Expo Dubai website and will be up until the end of February.

It can also be made into a watch design too, with orders through the Swatch website and Ilse has been given seven bespoke watches as part of her prize.

Ilse, who only took up art during lockdown, also has four pictures on display at the Anglers in Annan and is featured on their website.

She is a member of Annan Art Club, which meets weekly at Kate’s Kitchen and is open to all.

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