Spring Fling is welcoming a host of fresh talent with 10 new artists and makers taking part in this year’s event.

All with have online studios and some will be taking part in the two Spring Fling Pop-UPs.

More than 60 artists and makers have been selected for this year’s event, which is from 29 May to 6 June, and range from painters, potters, photographers and printmakers to jewellery, film and glass makers plus many others.

Among the newcomers is Anne Waggot Knott, a contemporary visual artist and original printmaker based in Cumbria. It will be the first time Anne has exhibited in Scotland – she will have an online studio, will have work at the Mill on the Fleet pop up, and will be giving a live online printmaking demonstration.

Anne, who is part of the Spring Fling Neighbours scheme through which artists from adjoining areas are invited to take part, said: “My abstract prints are inspired by the ever-changing landscape on both sides of the Solway. 

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to showcase my work at this prestigious event in Dumfries and Galloway. It’s a region I love, where I feel very much at home.

“This has obviously been an uncertain year for emerging artists, but my collection of new pieces celebrates the energy and dynamism I feel bubbling below the surface for many of us right now.” 

Anne is in the process of renovating a studio space in Auchencairn.

Peter Machell, is a woodworker whose creations include beautifully hand painted wooden clocks. Despite having lived in Galloway for 30 years it’s the first time he has applied to take part in Spring Fling.

Peter said: “A while ago I left my huge woodworking workshop in Kirkcudbright and built a one-person sized workshop near Mossdale, on the edge of the Galloway Forest Park.

“Lockdown allowed me the freedom to just try out a few ideas I had in the back of my mind and in sketch books, as there was no living to be earned for the duration. I was pleased to return to highly coloured work, this time painting by hand, and started my forays into detailed ornamentation.”

The other new faces are:

  • Briony Anderson – visual artist
  • Janet Carson – visual artist inspired by nature
  • Aileen MacEwan – semi-abstract visual artist
  • Ella McCreath – potter making wheel-thrown ceramics for the home
  • Ian Mckinnel – visual artist
  • Rachel Shnapp – filmmaker and artist
  • Astrid Weigel – designer and maker working with printed textiles
  • Sian Yeshe – freelance filmmaker

Rachel and Sian are also the young artists who were selected for Upland CIC’s annual six-month Emerge scheme. This provides emerging artists with a bursary, support and mentoring – plus the chance to take part in Spring Fling – in order to help them develop their careers.

Joanna Macaulay, Assistant Director for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “One of the real attractions of Spring Fling is that it’s always such a rich mix of regular and new participants. This year’s new faces are a really exciting mix of emerging and established artists and makers from many different disciplines, all of them bringing their own distinctive extra dimension to the event.”

Both Rachel and Sian will have Spring Fling online studios. Rachel’s dystopian film installation 17 Hertz will be shown at Gracefield Arts Centre (book at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/Gracefield-Arts-Centre).

Sian is based in Langholm and works in documentary film and installation. Her work explores issues faced in often underrepresented communities, particularly in a rural context. She hopes her work can uplift the communities she engages with and shine light on the diversity of life within them.

Much of Spring Fling is online but there are physical activities.

The programme includes:

  • Spring Fling Pop-UPs showcasing work by 32 participants at Ottersburn Gallery, Dumfries, and Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse of Fleet, 29 May to 6 June.
  • Wish You Were Here! online exhibition of small-scale work that celebrates the Dumfries and Galloway region, from 29 May to 23 June.
  • The Call, a roaming audio artwork by Katie Anderson which can be seen (and heard) by visitors to the Mill on the Fleet and Ottersburn Spring Fling Pop-UPs.

Outdoor workshops 

  • Sketchbook Walkshop with Elizabeth Gilbey
  • Garden Adventures in Paint with Hazel Campbell
  • Pen, Ink & Watercolour with Pamela Grace.

Online talks

  • Sow a Little Wildness Back with Peter Smith.
  •  with Clare Dawdry & Kate Ive. 
  • SSA and Spring Fling Participants

Online demonstrations

  • Live Print Demonstration with Anne Waggot Knott.
  • Jewellery Demonstration with Alison Macleod.

Online for children and families 

  • Draw Along with Lucy – A Spring Fling Special.


Notes for editors 

For further details visit www.spring-fling.co.uk.

About Rachel and Sian

Rachel Shnapp graduated from the University of Glasgow with a MA in Philosophy and English Literature and having worked within the film industry for a number of years, is looking to hone her creative practice within visual art film. She is based between London and Moniaive and will be mentored by Mark Lyken with additional support from Colin Tennant and Saskia Coulson (CT Productions).

SianYeshe works in film and digital media and since graduating from a MA creative practice course from the University of Cumbria in 2020 has been keen to further explore the rural culture of Southern Scotland through documentary work. She is based in Langholm and will be mentored by John Wallace with additional support from Colin Tennant and Saskia Coulson (CT Productions).

About the Pop Ups

Mill on the Fleet, High St, Gatehouse of Fleet, Castle Douglas DG7 2HS.

The Mill on the Fleet is a visitor and exhibition centre set in the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area in Galloway in south-west Scotland.

Exhibitors include: Alan J BrockbankAnne Waggot KnottLucy HadleyIzzy Leach, Angela LawrenceArchie McCallCaroline HoneElizabeth GilbeyLisa Rothwell-YoungPamela GracePatti LeanLinda MallettSue ThomasHannah SpicerAlistair Hamilton, Hazel Campbell, Laura Derby.

Ottersburn Gallery, 2a Nith Avenue Dumfries. DG1 1EF.

Ottersburn Gallery exhibits the work of local artists in its bright and open space as well as retaining its long history of framing excellence.

Exhibitors include: Aileen MacEwanBriony AndersonDiana de GruytherJanet CarsonRory LaycockPeter MachellAlison CorfieldAnne ButlerClare DawdryDeborah Campbell, Jay Rubinstein, Morag Macpherson, Sarah Keast, Daniel Lacey, Peter Smith.

This year’s participants

Clare Dawdry, Fitch & McAndrew, Archie McCall, Ella McCreath, Ruth Jones, Hannah Spicer, Rachel Shnapp, Sue Thomas, Sian Yeshe, Alan J Brockbank. Lucy Hadley, Rory Laycock, Alison Macleod, Sheena McMaster, Kaz Robertson, Lisa Rothwell-Young, Natalie Vardey, Ceri Allan, Maggie Ayres, Briony Anderson, Jennie Ashmore, Tricia Barna, Davy Brown, Anne Butler, Hazel Campbell, Janet Carson, Heather Davies, Ross Fulton, Elizabeth Gilbey, Bella Green, Diana de Gruyther, Julie Hollis, Caroline Hone, Sarah Keast, Angela Lawrence, Patti Lean, Hope London, Aileen MacEwan, Ian Mckinnel, Liz McQueen, Linda Mallett, Philippa Sinclair, Kim Ayres, Alistair Hamilton, Izzy Leach, Pamela Grace, Gail Kelly, Sarah Stewart, Emma Varley. Deborah Campbell, Alison Corfield, Laura Derby, Jo Gallant, Morag Macpherson, Kay Ribbens, Anne Waggot Knot, Astrid Weigel, Daniel Lacey, Lizzie Farey, Peter Machell, Jay Rubinstein, Peter Smith.

  • Spring Fling is pleased to once again have the support from Dumfries & Galloway Council as one of the region’s Signature Events. 

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.
  • Between 2003 and 2018 Spring Fling has attracted over 100,000 visitors who have made almost 300,000 studio visits. 
  • Over 16 years £1.9 million of art and craft has been bought in studios.
  • The event has brought over £8.5 million to the local economy.
  • For further details visit www.spring-fling.co.uk or contact info@spring-fling.co.uk

About Upland

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
  • 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, The Holywood Trust, The William Grant Foundation, The Heritage Lottery Fund, ASWT, Barfill. 

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 www.EventScotland.org. 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 www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com

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.