PRESS RELEASE: Spring Fling Artists Excel in Edinburgh

4th March 2013

Seven Spring Fling Artists Chosen to Feature in Major National Exhibitions


Castle Douglas Painter Takes Prestigious Glasgow Arts Club Prize

Work by seven Spring Fling artists has been chosen for major exhibitions at the Royal Scottish Academy showcasing Scotland’s finest talent.

Among them is Castle Douglas-based Leo Blamire who has also been awarded the sought-after Glasgow Art Club Prize for a superb still life Summer Cacti which shows three cacti, as well as the bee which is his artistic trademark.

The award was made on the opening night of the Visual Arts Scotland (VAS) Annual Exhibition which also includes works by Ewan McClure, Jennifer Watt and Michael Clark.

Also at the RSA, the Society of Scottish Artists (SSA) Annual Open Exhibition features pieces by Leo Blamire, Silvana McLean and Denise Zydaglo. And the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW) 133rd Annual Exhibition includes paintings by Hazel Campbell and Ewan McClure.

Leah Black, Spring Fling manager, said: “It’s fabulous that so many Spring Fling artists are having their work showcased in exhibitions at the RSA which attract major national and international attention.

“It really drives home the point that Dumfries and Galloway is a hotbed of artistic creativity and that Spring Fling offers visitors the chance to meet, and see work by, artists of a very high calibre.”

Spring Fling is recognised as Scotland’s premier open studios visual art and crafts event, with participants being specially selected to ensure. The 2013 event, from 25-27 May, will be the biggest ever, with 93 professional artists, makers and designers taking part.

Leo Blamire, who moved back to Dumfries and Galloway around 18 months ago after 15 years in Glasgow, said: “It was great to have work chosen for two major Scottish exhibitions, but to win this prize is brilliant – I’m absolutely delighted.

“It really justifies my decision to move back to Dumfries and Galloway where I could spend more time concentrating on developing my art.”

The award will allow 33-year-old Leo to stage a solo exhibition in Glasgow, putting his work before a wide audience and further raising his profile as an up-and-coming Scottish talent.



About the seven artists

Leo Blamire

Leo’s output spans painting, printmaking and music. His love of animals, insects and interior scenes is depicted in the detailed, colourful oil paintings he produces. He uses the printmaking process to allow him to explore pattern and design. Sometimes he uses cut up and hand manipulated photographs as part of the screenprint, creating a stylised and striking final image 

Hazel Campbell

A renowned painter, producing striking and colourful work. Hazel’s painting is becoming more stylized. She uses ink and bamboo in her work and is noted for her vibrant use of oils.

Michael Clark

A painter based in Ayr who has been specially invited to take part in Spring Fling as part of its neighbours project.

Silvana McLean

An artist who creates paintings, etchings, box constructions and artists’ books. On show in this year’s Spring Fling will be framed and unframed paintings of all sizes, etchings, tools and press, touchable sample prints, sketchbooks showing ideas development and Studio Sale section.  

Ewan McClure

A painter who is fascinated by the distinction between ‘finished’ and ‘complete.’ He says a painting can be ‘unfinished’ in the conventional sense but have reached completion as a coherent expressive statement. 

Jennifer Watt

A sculptor working in bronze, wood, stone and cast resin. Jennifer’s work is inspired by natural organic forms. Spring Fling visitors will be able to see works in her sculpture garden and studio made in a wide range from small-scale to life-size for interiors or the garden. 

Denise Zygadlo

Denise makes images using a photocopier and transfer print them onto fabric – with startling effects. She also makes detailed pencil studies. Cloth and the human body are const ant elements in her work. Recently she has also been involved in performance.

For more about the seven artists see the Spring Fling website at


Notes for editors

● Last year Spring Fling visitors came from 19 different countries. Many visitors come from central and southern Scotland and the north of England which are within easy driving distance.

● Spring Fling is ideal for a day trip or for a short break – with lots of delightful small towns, villages and superb coastal areas to stay and enjoy.

● A range of evening events and activities is also being organised for visitors to enjoy when the studios are closed.

● Dumfries and Galloway is renowned for the number of artists and craft makers who live there, with Spring Fling acting as a showcase for some of the finest.

● In 2012 Spring Fling included 76 artists, there were more than 30,000 studio visits and the event brought in around £1 million to the local economy.

● Studios are open daily 10.30am to 5pm during the event and are free to visit.

Getting around: There are three great alternatives to getting around the studios by car:

  • Six bus tours 
  • Bike tours 
  • Walking tours  

Finding the route: A fold-out map will be available which shows the studios and the fringe locations. There are also seven suggested coloured routes to follow – each provides a great day-long tour of studios and super countryside.

Smartphone app: An updated smartphone app can be downloaded for free so visitors can plot their own routes – choosing where they want to visit by area, name of artist or the type of work they produce.

● Spring Fling is a Community Interest Company. The core event is funded by Dumfries & Galloway Council. The Springboard Project is funded by The Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Programme and The Holywood Trust. Additional projects are funded by Creative Scotland and The Galloway Association of Glasgow. The Trigony House Hotel are the 2013 Prize Draw sponsors.

● To find out more visit