New member profile: Moy Mackay Gallery

  • An example of Moy Mackay's felted painting
  • Moy in her gallery on Peebles' Northgate
  • The gallery also displays work from a host of fine and applied artists
  • A recent 'house' commission by Moy


Tucked away on Peebles’ Northgate, the delightful Moy Mackay Gallery first opened in March 2012, although its arrival was never really part of the plan. “I didn’t intend to open a gallery, it just somehow happened that way,” explains owner and artist Moy Mackay.

However, the gallery’s many loyal customers will be glad she did. An instant success, the gallery is now managed day-to-day by Gillian Sosa and a small team of staff, leaving Moy with time to create new works from her other base at the WASPS Studios in Selkirk.

The gallery sees work from around 30 contemporary fine and applied artists, many of whom are Borders-based. Most of the other featured artists are from elsewhere in Scotland.

Accessible to all, it’s a gallery that sees much care and attention put into aesthetics. “We want customers to be warmly welcomed and not be intimidated,” says Moy. “It’s art to be shared and enjoyed by everyone, not the elite.”

On display is a consistently high standard of work from a carefully-blended range of artists. And then of course there are Moy’s own renowned creations – vibrantly colourful works that at first look like traditional landscape painting, but which on closer inspection reveal themselves as having been created using merino felt fibres rather than paint.

It’s an innovative art form that sees the marriage of a traditional craft with a fine art application. “I wanted to combine my love of painting with a textural medium with more depth and vibrancy than I felt could be achieved with paint alone,” explains Moy.

Moy’s felt ‘paintings’ have been displayed at exhibitions throughout the UK and also in the US – international exposure that has spawned two best-selling books and an increasing number of tutoring dates both at home and abroad.

It will be no surprise to anyone who has seen Moy’s work that colour and landscape are her twin passions, with much of her inspiration coming from the surrounding Borders scenery. “I want to create aesthetically pleasing works that people gain pleasure from living with. Colours can be very healing and comforting.”

A longer version of this article first appeared during Rapt in Winter, a special arts fair and trail created as part of Peebles Creative Place 2014


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