ONE of Scotland’s oldest historic homes is to stage its first art exhibition.

Colstoun House in East Lothian has been the ancestral home of the Broun family since its first stone was placed nearly 1000 years ago.

It opened to the public for the first time in 900 years in 2010 and recently began an artists’ residency to offer space, time and access to the surrounding countryside.

Landscape painter Joe Grieve is the first artist from the residency to be selected to exhibit at the house and this year Colstoun Arts is set to welcome other artists from the UK as well as Germany, Korea, China and France.

The plan is to develop a series of exhibitions each year including a residency group show, an emerging artist solo show, an established landscape artist group show and a new collaboration with the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) to show work by Scottish artists focusing on landscape and nature.

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Mackie Sinclair-Parry, director of Colstoun Arts, said: “Art has always been a part of Colstoun’s history. When you look at the walls and see hundreds of years of art collected through the generations, it becomes obvious why we should create a sustainable, progressive way in which to collect contemporary art and present it to the wider population.

"It started with the Colstoun Artist Residency but is now being expanded to include public exhibitions and collaborations with external galleries and museums.”

The National:

The Other Side, Grieve’s solo exhibition, is predominantly oil paintings inspired by the landscape of East Lothian, including the Bass Rock (below) and Berwick Law (above).

The large-scale paintings will fill the 100ft long space which opens out onto the surrounding parkland and wildflower meadows.

Grieve said he was interested in the social politics of land and the fight for right-to-roam laws in England similar to those which already exist in Scotland.

The National:

“I endeavour to explore the urgency of returning to more natural ways, responding to the consequences industrialisation has borne and the negative impact we are a race are having on the planet” he said. “There has never been a more vital time to understand the importance of nature.”

Grieve added: “My time at Colstoun was peaceful and empowering. Being able to live and work in a totally new place with such vast lands to get lost in cleared my mind while painting. It opened me to this other side of life and creativity and was a marked contrast to city painting.”

Alongside the opening of the new gallery, the house will open a café serving tea, coffee and cakes.

Visitors will also be able to visit the gardens, which are in the process of long-term restoration, the Walled Garden which produces seasonal fruit and vegetables, and the 100 acres of Victorian parkland which surround the house, 50 of which have been turned into wild meadow over the last three years.