Spring Fling has unveiled its full programme of events and activities – including pop ups, an online exhibition, virtual studios and a special audio art commission.

More than 60 artists and makers have been selected to take part, ranging from Jay Rubinstein who makes amazing wooden mobiles (many inspired by poetry) to the renowned watercolourist Hazel Campbell. 

The two Spring Fling Pop-UPs will feature work by 32 artists and makers, with some being showcased at Ottersburn Gallery in Dumfries and others at Mill on the Fleet in Gatehouse of Fleet from 29 May to 6 June.

Jay (photographed by Colin Hattersley), whose work will be shown at Ottersburn Gallery, is based near Dundrennan and divides his time between woodwork and volunteering for the locally-based charity Massive Outpouring of Love (MOOL).

His mobiles, including one inspired by William Blake’s The Tyger, are incredibly detailed – constructed from multiple layers of individually shaped pieces of wood and veneer. Other mobiles include “Caxtons”, which he made after reading A Martian Sends a Postcard Home by Craig Raine, and a fish made of birds which he created thanks to Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Jay, who despite being a trained cabinet maker spent most of his career in computing, said: “I loved woodwork and was able to return to it when I retired. I became fascinated with the idea of how lots of tiny pieces could be used to create a complex and moving whole.

“Words or images from a poem often catch my imagination and lead me to make a mobile that captures an idea in three dimensions.

“I had been planning to take part in Spring Fling last year, but then the pandemic meant that people couldn’t open their studios to the public. But I’m very much looking forward to having my work on show as part of this year’s pop ups.” 

Around half the artists are contributing to Wish You Were Here! which is an online exhibition, from 29 May to 23 June, of small-scale work by Spring Fling artists that celebrates the Dumfries and Galloway region.

There will also be three workshops, three talks, two demonstrations and the Upland Creative Commission. 

This will be a roaming audio artwork entitled The Call. Created by Katie Anderson which takes inspiration from bird and other animal calls and can be seen (and heard) by visitors to the Mill on the Fleet Spring Fling Pop-UP.

Each of Spring Fling’s participating artists and makers will have their own virtual studio for online visitors to browse – going live on 29 May.

Joanna Macaulay, Assistant Director for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “Although we can’t welcome you into the studios physically as part of this year’s event, the virtual studios aim to recreate some of that magic. There’s so much else on offer too with an exhibition, demonstrations, online talks and demonstrations. 

“And for people living in the region there is also the chance to visit the Spring Fling Pop-Ups and see a really impressive variety of high-quality work, and to experience The Call and even to book a place on one of our special outdoor workshops.”

“We hope that people will join in with Spring Fling from all over the country and across the world for this celebration of creativity in Dumfries and Galloway.”

The outdoor workshops are:

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

Throughout the event there will also be live and recorded sessions going out from our participating artists and makers across their own channels. EventScotland is supporting the workshops, talks and pop-ups while Creative Scotland has provided funding towards digital accessibility and to commission The Call.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting this year’s Spring Fling, through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund. With restrictions beginning to ease, the event’s hybrid programme featuring a variety of talks, workshops, and pop-ups, gives audiences local and further afield the perfect opportunity to enjoy this renowned arts event in a safe way.”

Spring Fling’s online activities include:


  • Sow a Little Wildness Back with Peter Smith.
  • SSA and Spring Fling Participants


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

Children & Families 

  • Draw Along with Lucy – A Spring Fling Special.

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


Notes for editors 

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.