From special effects to startling perspectives on Scottish landscapes, boats and waterfronts – Spring Fling has a line-up of three highly distinctive photographers.  

In the case of Kim Ayres this year’s open studios weekend will be all about smoke and mirrors.

Kim will be giving hourly live demonstrations of how he uses lighting and a smoke machine to create dramatic set-piece shots, often based on ideas from movies, TV dramas or books.

He said: “With the right skills and equipment the only limit to what you can do with photography is your own imagination. I love working with people to create pictures where they can feature as a hero, villain or anything else they want.

“This year I thought I would go beyond simply exhibiting pictures and give demonstrations of what goes into creating a really powerful narrative picture. It’s literally a case of smoke and mirrors.” 

Recent work by Kim has included a group shot inspired by the TV series Peaky Blindersand taken inside an old Dumfries warehouse.

A vividly contrasting style of photography can be seen in the work of Alistair Hamilton who has a fascination with detail in the human and natural world.

This includes unusual and intriguing images of boats and watersides, and rocks, trees and lichens all round Scotland and abroad.

Different again are the photographs of Phil McMenemy who has a fascination with light and weather in the Scottish landscape and has recently been taking pictures on Orkney.

Spring Fling is a much-loved annual feature of the Scotland’s cultural calendar. 

This year 94 studios across the beautiful region of Dumfries and Galloway, throw open their doors to the public between 25 and 27 May.

It’s a chance to meet painters, original printmakers, ceramicists, jewellers and glassmakers, wood and metal workers, photographers in the cottages, farms, galleries, mills, converted churches and other places that they work and live.

Joanna Macaulay, Events and Exhibitions Manager for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “The quality and diversity of our photographers means they are always an important part of Spring Fling.

“We know how much visitors like meeting photographers and talking to them about their work – and this year we think they will particularly enjoy watching Kim’s live demonstrations.”

The photographers can be seen at:

  • Kim Ayres: Meikle Knox House, Castle Douglas, DG7 1NS.
  • Alistair Hamilton: Ross Cottage, Ross Bay, Borgue, Kirkcudbright, DG6 4TR.
  • Phil McMenemy: The Gallery, Laurieston, Castle Douglas, DG7 2PW.

Full details of all the artists and makers taking part are in the brochure or can be seen online at


Notes for editors 

Spring Fling

  • Spring Fling is 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.
  • Last year 99% of visitors described their Spring Fling experience as excellent or good.
  • The studios welcomed over 31,000 unique studio visits during the three-day event in 2018.
  • More than half (56%) of visitors came from outwith the region – underlying its value to the cultural tourism industry.
  • Together they generated £1.2 million for the regional economy.
  • For further details on Spring Fling please visit or contact the team on  [email protected]
  • This year, a new joint marketing partnership with Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival will be launched. More information to follow.

About Upland

Upland CIC (Community Interest Company) supports artists and makers based in, and with connections to, the region. It will 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 andexists 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
  • use, and encourage the use of, innovative and emerging digital technology
  • work to the benefit the local economy and the sustainability of local communities.

Its funders are Creative Scotland, D&G Council, Holywood Trust, The William Grant Foundation, ASWT, Barfill.  

Upland is very happy to help journalists. Contact us and we can set up interviews, provide pictures and photo opportunities. In some circumstances we can offer ready-written copy. For media information contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or at [email protected] or call Upland on 01387 213 218.

About EventScotland  

EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see