Commission a kimono, purchase a portrait, admire artworks, meet makers and discover Dumfries and Galloway – there’s an abundance of things to see and do during the 21st annual Spring Fling open studios weekend.
The full programme has just been unveiled (see https://www.spring-fling.co.uk) and offers:
- 100 open studios
- Online virtual studios
- Bike routes
- Bus and walking tours
- Experimental art
- Plus galleries to visit.
On the lead up to the event, artists and makers will also being popping up at farmers’ markets across the region demonstrating their work.
Then there’s CREATE, a new initiative for experimental artists to create site-specific works or installations.
Event organisers Upland hope this will give a platform to less traditional work that doesn’t necessarily fit into the traditional studio setting
Joanna Jones, Upland Assistant Director which organises Spring Fling, said: “Dumfries and Galloway is home to an extraordinary creative community. This year’s 21st Spring Fling will be an ideal opportunity to meet artists and makers of every kind and perhaps even commission something entirely unique for yourself or a loved one.
“There will be a huge amount to see and do, with 100 studios opening their doors, plus the chance to see fresh experimental art, enjoy pop-up demonstrations or tour some of the studios by bike or bus.”
Among this year’s Spring Fling participants are textile artist Morag Macpherson from Kirkcudbright, known internationally for her remarkable hand-made kimono robes, and Kim Ayres a narrative and portrait photographer based in Castle Douglas, with a love for theatrical and cinematic visual storytelling.
The two recently teamed up for a photo session at the region’s historic Broughton House in which locally-based artist Ewan McClure modelled a kimono specially commissioned by a Whithorn couple for their son in Switzerland.
Along with many of the others (from painters, illustrators and original printmakers to willow artists, glass makers and even two blacksmiths) they will be welcoming visitors interested in seeing their work and discussing commissions.
Morag said: “Spring Fling is a great chance to meet people and show them what I do. That includes working with clients to create something uniquely special for them.
“This latest kimono is a great example of that. It was a lovely commission, reusing a dress which belonged to the lady’s mother that had been tailored in Barcelona 70 years ago from Hong Kong silk, and patchworking it together with my own silk fabrics.
“It’s lovely to take an item that has strong emotional associations for people but is no longer wearable and give it new life, so it continues to be cherished and used in another form.”
Kim added: “Collaborating with makers and artists like Morag to create interesting photos is so much fun.
“Something I love about living in Dumfries and Galloway is the sheer number of incredibly creative people. Periodically I have taken a year out of participating in Spring Fling, just so I can go and visit some of the other studios.
“Across this Spring Fling weekend, I will be doing demonstrations on how to become more photogenic in front of the camera. Many people hate having their photo taken, feeling the image shows them in their worst light rather than their best.
“And yet there are a few things you can learn – from the angle of the body to the tilt of the head – that can make a significant difference. I’ll be showing you techniques so you never need to be worried about the camera again.”
Spring Fling plays an important role in supporting artists and makers who are often working in remote areas – and also in contributing to the region’s economy.
Visitors will be able to follow six colour-coded routes taking them round studios in different parts of the region and some studios will have special evening openings and demonstrations on the lead up to the weekend.
Since its conception, Spring Fling has attracted around 169,000 visitors who have made over 500,000 studio visits. In 20 years over £9.9 million has been spent in the studios and the event has brought over £16 million for the region’s economy.
- For the full programme and to book bus or walking tours visit https://www.spring-fling.co.uk.
- Brochures can be ordered from the website and will be available in April.
- In addition to CREATE which gives an artist a free place in the event, organisers have increased the number of bursaries and the amount of financial aid offered in response to the ongoing cost of living crises.
- Morag is also collaborating with international artist Tellas, from Sardinia, on a residency produced by Upland at Ottersburn Gallery, Dumfries, in late April.
Notes for editors
About Spring Fling
- Spring Fling made its name a Scotland’s premier visual art and contemporary craft open studios event covering all Dumfries and Galloway, South West Scotland. It is the flagship annual event of Upland CIC.
- For further details visit www.spring-fling.co.uk or contact email@example.com
- Spring Fling is pleased to once again have the support from Dumfries & Galloway Council as one of the region’s Signature Events.
About Morag, Kim and the kimono
- Morag will be exhibiting her patchworked textile creations to wear and limited edition accessories at Shepherdess Cottage, Banks Farm, Kirkcudbrightshire DG6 4XF – more information here.
- The kimono robe pattern was originally cut from a Japanese design from the attic archives of Broughton House which is the former home of Glasgow Boy E A Hornell (and one of Kirkcudbright’s leading visitor attractions).
- Kim will be exhibiting at Meikle Knox House, nr Castle Douglas, DG7 1NS, more information here.
Upland CIC (Community Interest Company) supports artists and makers based in, and with connections to, the region. It delivers, events, training, networking, support and opportunities as part of a year-round programme to benefit the region, its artists, communities and economy. Upland CIC runs the annual Spring Fling contemporary visual art and craft open studios weekend in Dumfries and Galloway. It will work closely with other arts bodies in the region to further-strengthen the sector. Upland is based at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries and exists to:
- produce and deliver festivals, events, and experimental projects of the highest quality
- nurture an environment where artistic excellence thrives and grows
- inspire and educate a wide range of audiences, customers and clients to understand, celebrate, be actively engaged in and supportive of visual art and craft practice
- raise the profile of visual artists and makers locally, nationally and internationally fulfilling a crucial role in the culture and tourism of Dumfries and Galloway
- build strategic partnerships at regional, national and international level
- maintain a financially sound and adaptively resilient organisation
- work to the benefit the local economy and the sustainability of local communities.
Its funders are Creative Scotland, D&G Council, The Holywood Trust, The Barfill Trust.
About Creative Scotland
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com. Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland.
For media information contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or at Matthew@ScottishFestivalsPR.Org or call Upland on 01387 213 218.