‘Spring Fling’ is the title of an Open Studio and Arts festival event in Kirkcudbright, in Dumfries and Galloway in the South-West of Scotland. We first visited this area 20 years ago and have returned many times since, to enjoy the lovely countryside and beautiful coastline. I blogged about a summer stay here.
It has been a particular pleasure to come at the end of May, which for us includes a Bank Holiday Monday, so we could participate in the Spring Fling. This year is the 15th time the event has been held. It’s like a cross between a treasure hunt and an art gallery visit. Armed with the excellent free brochure (you can see it here) and a good road map, you find your way from one artist/crafts-person to another, across the whole of Dumfries and Galloway. There are painters, potters, jewellery-makers, printers, photographers, weavers, embroiderers, furniture-makers and installation artists. All the studios are numbered and signposted, so you can spot them as you make your way along country roads.
Some of the studios are in spectacular locations, like number 12 belonging to photographer Alistair Hamilton.
This is the view from in front of the studio.
Alistair Hamilton is particularly interested in texture and has taken photographs which feature details of a textural surface that make them look almost like abstract paintings. We loved his work and bought a piece to give as a birthday present. You can see more of his work here.
This is the studio of Julie Dumbarton:
Inside it was this fabulous couch, and the crocheted blanket on it was as colourful as Julie’s paintings.
You can see more about this artist here.
A particular highlight this year was a public art project commissioned by Upland for Spring Fling 2017, an installation called ‘Edge’ on the beach at Carrick by Robbie Coleman and Jo Hodges. Various pieces were assembled in a line, as if they were along the tide-line. (Please note: the photos below appear with the artists’ permission.)
When you looked closer, all manner of items were ‘washed up’ on the beach, including many boxes, suitcases and other containers (even a handbag) all filled with intriguing items.
A special favourite of mine, as a lover of miniatures, was this small dining room of dolls’house furniture:
Each visitor was given a booklet of strange tales, of lost loves, sea journeys, shipwrecks and the like which had inspired the art-works. It was a wonderfully intriguing, imaginative and original work which clearly appealed to visitors of all ages who were opening the various containers and exclaiming about the contents. And this was the view from the beach: