From light projections on Moon Jars to a sound installation developed from the one of Burns’ favourite Scots songs – Spring Fling 2021 will feature an abundance of intriguing artworks.

Among more than 60 specially selected artists and makers, from across Dumfries and Galloway, will be ceramicist Ruth Elizabeth Jones, based in Moniaive, and visual artist Emma Varley, from Dumfries.

They have developed a series of collaborative pieces that are striking interactions of digital drawing and ceramics, fusing tradition with technology.

During Spring Fling, which runs from 29 May to 6 June, visitors to their online studios will be able to see their individual works and collaborations including Earthlight their new experiment using digital drawings and projected light on a collection of hand built ceramic vessels.

The ceramic works include a Moon Jar. Inspired by traditional vessels made during the Joseon Dynasty in Korea, the Moon Jar’s convex form and smoke fired body absorb and reflect the digital drawing as coloured light.

Earthlight their latest work will be released as a short film on Friday 29th May to mark the opening of Spring Fling 2021.

A contrasting piece of work will be The Call, a specially-commissioned sound and sculptural installation by Katie Anderson from near Annan.

Two performers will move large, sculptural speakers and listening devices around the space, that encourage playful exploration of site and our audible landscape, whilst playing an original contemporary composition created from recordings of people singing the chorus of Scots song Ca’ the Yowes.

The song, thought to have been from a poem by Ayrshire’s Isabel Pagan, has been popularised at different times by figures such as Robert Burns and Dougie MacLean.

Katie said: “So many Scots words have lovely sounds, so even if someone doesn’t understand what they mean they are wonderful to hear.

“In this case we invited people to record themselves singing the chorus of Ca’ the Yowes – and we’ve manipulated the recordings so you can no longer hear the individual words, but you experience the loveliness of the sound.

“The result is something very naturalistic, with the performers calling and responding to each other – something like human birdsong.” 

Live performances of The Call (which is supported by Creative Scotland) will take place at the Spring Fling Pop UPsat Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse (Saturday 29 May, 1pm and Sunday, 30 May, 1pm) and at Ottersburn Gallery, Dumfies (Saturday, 5 June, 1pm). Visitors can also hear the installation in situ at Mill on the Fleet from 29 May to 4 June between 10am to 5pm.

Work by 32 Spring Fling artists and makers will be showcased at the two Spring Fling Pop-UPs which take place from 29 May to 6 June.

All the participants, who range from painters, potters, photographers and printmakers to jewellery, film and glass makers , will have their own online studio.

Joanna Macaulay, Assistant Director for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “This year’s event combines online and physical events in ways that we hope will be really appealing – with lots of intriguing and unusual artworks presented in imaginative and accessible ways.

“The idea is that even though we could not hold our usual open studios weekend, there are lots of ways to engage with the art and the artists.

“It’s a huge tribute to our artists and makers that they have found so many exciting ways to overcome the obstacles created by Covid so that people can enjoy their work.”

Throughout Spring Fling there will be online activities including digital workshops supported by EventScotland.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting Spring Fling, through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund. Events play a vital role in our communities by supporting artists and bringing about social and economic change. 

“Through the event’s pop-ups and digital workshop programme, local audiences will have the perfect opportunity to connect with the works of artists and makers in a safe and engaging way.”

The programme also includes:

  • Wish You Were Here! online exhibition of small-scale work that celebrates the Dumfries and Galloway region, from 29 May to 23 June.

Outdoor workshops 

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

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.

Please note that tickets for talks and workshops need to be booked in advance.


Notes for editors 

For further details visit

About Emma Varley and Ruth Elizabeth Jones

Ruth and Emma have exhibited together at Spring Fling since 2017.

Emma’s printmaking highlights the way that process can lead and expand into other media. She captures snapshots of the wider environment in Dumfries and Galloway and beyond. Integral to her creative process is colour as content, explored with analogue and digital techniques. Contact

Ruth’s work explores form, texture and surface with coil-built and thrown clay vessels. They echo shapes from the past, drawing on ancient and prehistoric ceramic forms. At the same time they have a contemporary feel, creating a unity of form and surface. For more see

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 or contact

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 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

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 Follow us @creativescots and

For media information contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or at Matthew@ScottishFestivalsPR.Org or call Upland on 01387 213 218.