Waterwheel is a permanent film installation by artist Andy Mackinnon, which reanimates the Victorian mill wheel beneath the café bar in Heart of Hawick’s Tower Mill.

Inspired by the spinning mill wheel, cinema reels and early cinematograph technology such as the zoetrope, the multi-channel video work brings the waterwheel to life through moving-image projection, including sequences of locally sourced archival film and home movies reflecting aspects of Hawick’s social history and rich textiles heritage. 

Waterwheel was commissioned by Alchemy Film & Arts, with support from Live Borders and Creative Scotland’s Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund, and opened in November 2021 as part of The Teviot, the Flag and the Rich, Rich Soil, an Alchemy Film & Arts programme exploring the borders, boundaries and lines of Hawick.


Andy Mackinnon is a filmmaker and curator based on the Isle of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. He has curated the visual arts and moving image programme at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre since 2003. Prior to that he worked in creative and collaborative film and video production, and was a key player in the Glasgow Film & Video Workshop (now GMAC) for many years. He is currently developing various creative documentaries around the issues of climate and culture.

Images: Oliver Benton