Press Release: Artists and Makers for Scotland’s Top Open Studios Event Revealed

23rd January 2017

Spring Fling names exhibitors for 15th anniversary weekend and the participants selected for craft-based Cotswolds show

Spring Fling has unveiled the diverse range of 93 artists, makers and designers selected for Scotland’s premier open studios event in 2017.

Nearly a third will also show work in a curated craft focused exhibition that will offer a taste of the much-loved annual Scottish cultural event to Cirencester in the heart of England.

The 15th annual Spring Fling takes place across Dumfries and Galloway from 27 to 29 May and will include 15 new participants as well as familiar exhibitors such as the Langholm-based landscape painter Julie Dumbarton and watercolour artist Hazel Campbell from near Castle Douglas.

Visitors will be able to see jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, paintings, photography, original prints, metalwork, glass, textiles, furniture and more.

As ever one of the great attractions is the opportunity to meet, chat and see people at work in their studios – while spending time touring one of the most beautiful rural regions of the country.

Among the participants is Janet Ibbotson, from Auchencairn, who makes needle felted and embroidered sheer cashmere scarves and tailored made-to-measure jackets and coats in tweed and cashmere

She said: “My studio is at the end of a gorgeous garden which overlooks a burn. There you will see the place full of fabrics, beautiful cashmere scarves, a rail of clothes, tailor’s dummies, sewing machines - all the accoutrements of my trade. You can try things on and see what suits you.”

In addition to those based in the area there will be seven guests from Cumbria, the Scottish Borders, Ayrshire and Northern Ireland who are taking part through Spring Fling’s Neighbours Scheme.

A further seven are Springbacks, who have strong connections with Dumfries and Galloway, but are currently living and working elsewhere. They include Edinburgh-based Myer Halliday, a maker of vividly-patterned and delicate slipcast ceramics.

Myer is also contributing to the Cirencester exhibition. Entitled Outpost | Spring Fling at New Brewery Arts, it will give audiences from the Cotswolds, and across southern England, an insight into the quality and range of work produced for Spring Fling.

Joanna Macaulay, Events and Exhibitions Manager for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “It’s always a big moment in our year when we unveil the names of everyone selected to be part of Spring Fling. As ever there will be an extraordinary mix of work in some amazing studio settings.

“One of the highlights of Spring Fling is that it brings together established and fresh talent, so there is always plenty that’s new to enjoy.

“The open studios weekend promotes work in the studio context, from concept to creation, giving the visitors a unique insight in to how work is made. It’s also essential to take our art and craft outwith the region, providing the artists with a platform to exhibit and sell their work and take Spring Fling to new audiences, so we are very pleased to be working with New Brewery Arts.

“Outpost will include a rich mix of the decorative and functional, some from artists and makers with national and international reputations, leaders in their fields, while others are innovative young talents.”

Outpost is at New Brewery Arts, from 25 March to 14 May, and includes work by Jennifer Watt, a sculptor known for her simple, elegant and beautiful bronze and resin forms alongside the highly functional ceramics of Clare Dawdry, whose tableware is a mainstay of chef Tom Kitchin’s Michelin starred restaurant, The Kitchin, in Leith.

Jennifer, from Thornhill, said: “It's wonderful to be part of an exhibition which is presenting such a range of work from Dumfries and Galloway to a new audience in the south of England. It will give people a real taste of the enormous creativity that there is in our region, and that they can find if they visit Spring Fling.”

There will also be jewellery from the likes of Michael Pell, a gifted silversmith some of whose work will be familiar to sports fans as he was among the team who created the medals for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The exhibition will feature original prints from Clare Melinsky, best known as the cover illustrator for the Harry Potter books, and designer of Royal Mail stamps, Clare has also illustrated the Penguin Shakespeares.

Clare Melinsky said: “The Spring Fling exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to take my work to a part of the country where it hasn't been exhibited before, although visitors may well have seen my work on book covers and in magazines without realising it.”

Hannah McAndrew added: “We are pleased to be involved in the Cirencester exhibition because it’s a gallery with a great reputation for showing craft work of high quality. It isn't a place that we have exhibited in together before either. It is a great way to spread the word of Spring Fling and to introduce a new batch of craftspeople to the established audience at the New Brewery Arts.”

Holly Burton, from the Crafts Council’s Learning & Talent Development Team, helped select the artists and said: “I loved seeing the breadth of talent and the skillful work of the makers and artists taking part in the Spring Fling.

“Many of the makers in the show have explored the stunning landscapes, coastlines, moorlands and moody skies of Dumfries and Galloway through their work, and it will be exciting to see it all brought together in Cirencester.

New Brewery Arts has a reputation for showing the best of contemporary craft from throughout the UK, and Outpost does just that.

Beth Alden, New Brewery Arts CEO, said: “It’s always exciting to give people the chance to see high-quality work from other parts of the country who they might not have encountered before.

“It’s a real pleasure to be collaborating with Spring Fling on a project that brings such a variety of ceramics, jewellery, printmaking, textiles and photography from a highly creative rural region like Dumfries and Galloway to the heart of the Cotswolds.

For full details of all those taking part in Spring Fling see the website at www.spring-fling.co.uk/artists and the names of those selected for Outpost are below.

 

Image by Colin Hattersley.