Julia Douglas & Colin Usher
and also Becca & Dougie



Scottish couple, Colin Usher and Julia Douglas, moved into this stunning mansion house in the centre of the vibrant market town of Nérac (47) in South West France, in 2017 to set up a contemporary arts centre. Even though they are still renovating the property, it is fast becoming a centre for artistic development, providing funded and self-funded residencies, creative courses and cultural events for all types of creative practitioner.

This property is called Studio Faire. It is a centre for creative development and the home of Colin, Julia and their two Labradors, Becca and Dougie.

Colin Usher is a digital media professional, photographer & drummer. Colin spent his 20s as a photographer for The Face, The List, Dance & Theatre companies, while playing drums in indie bands in the earnest search of a record deal and music based career.

He bought his first Mac in 1993 and has worked in and around the creative industries ever since.

The Proclaimers have also relied on Colin to look after their digital media since 2001. He has directed, shot and edited many videos for them (and many other bands) as well as designing album covers and taking care of their web presence.

Find out more at: colinusher.com

Julia Douglas VAS SSA studied Textiles and Surface Decoration, specialising in Textile Screen Printing. During her MA in Art & Design her work became more sculptural and she has been known to use knitting, felt making, paper making and found objects to make her sculptures. She has even broken 12,500 cloth pegs to make a dress (‘Highly Sprung’ is now in the permanent collection of Aberdeen Art Gallery) and stitched together hundreds of snap fasteners to make ‘Prayer Gloves’ (now in the permanent collection of Deveron Arts).

She has also co-ordinated Open Call Exhibitions for the Society of Scottish Artists and is pretty darn good at designing websites for artists.

Find out more at: www.juliadouglas.co.uk


Becca Douglas Usher is a 10 year old Labrador. Often found in a shady spot in the garden or relaxing under the dining table, just in case a crumb should drop! She has a very friendly and gentle nature. She will smile at you when you arrive and snooze at your feet to keep you company while you relax.


Dougie Douglas Usher is a 6 year old Labrador. Often found sunbathing in the garden. He has an insatiable appetite and will scoff any food left unattended! He is affectionate and loves company. Like a shadow, he will follow you to ensure you (he!) need never be alone. We do ask him to stay out of your bedroom though and he’s cool with that.

The journey so far …

Happy to inspire adventure!

We have been very open and honest all along about the ups and downs of this adventure of ours (moving to France to buy a property to transform into a contemporary art centre) and we have done this mostly to keep friends, family and colleagues updated, and also to...

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Cracking eggs to make an omelette

It's been hard to keep you updated on progress at Studio Faire, since we moved in to the property in April, because we have mostly been cracking a few eggs to make an omelette ... in other words, taking stuff away and generally making a mess of the place!...

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Why the Lot-et-Garonne?

We are often asked 'How did you choose the Lot-et-Garonne?' It was quite simple really. After circling the airports that have cheap flights from Edinburgh to the South of France on the map and visiting for a couple of driving trips, we narrowed it down to Bordeaux as...

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Crowdfunding & Mixed Emotions!

This crowdfunding malarky is a very strange beast. Surprising, awkward and encouraging! Surprising: When we put the 30-day campaign live 24 days ago we thought that it was a numbers game. We hoped for lots of small contributions to reach our large goal. Between us,...

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Location, location, location

In a couple of weeks Colin and I will be taking a trip across the Channel to visit some of the locations we have in mind for Studio Faire. What are the key crucial factors for location? Well, apart from lush green countryside, bright warm sunshine the majority of the...

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Musique to house hunt to

Listening to Radio 6 a few months back I was given the aural pleasure of discovering Feloche, the French mandolin toting cajun lad from the island La Gomera in the Canaries. His album Silbo, is never far from the top of my Spotify play list and is a familiar friend on...

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Parlez-vous français?

A common (and not unpredictable) question asked by almost everyone when they hear of our mission to set up a creative retreat in South West France is ‘Do you speak French?’ It’s asked with a nod of the head at the end and a presumption of an answer in the affirmative…...

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The France Show 2015

Saturday 24th Jan saw us visit The Olympia in London and the The France Show 2015. A bit of research, networking, tasting, listening and much learning ensued. We met banks, we talked to estate agents (immobilier), we watched an auction and we enjoyed the general...

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Contact us

58 Avenue Georges Clemenceau
47600 NéracFrance

General enquiries and residencies

Courses and educational residencies
Email: colin@studiofaire.co.uk

Call: +33 (0)6 34 56 10 70

All detail & imagery are © 2019 Studio Faire, Colin Usher & Julia Douglas