The Herald: Artist to wrap cottage with fabric for Jubilee

10th May 2012

IT'S a perfectly good look for an interior – floral stretch fabric for a traditional Galloway cottage.

Just one thing. The fabric is actually on the outside.

Local artist Alice Francis is to wrap the exterior of a cottage near Castle Douglas in the fabric as part of Dumfries and Galloway's Spring Fling festival over the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

The work, entitled appropriately enough Couch, will be created on May 31 and will involve wrapping 400m of stretch fabric purchased from loose cover and reupholstery specialists Plumbs around the cottage which is near the parking area for Doach Woods.

She said: "I want to encourage people to question appearances and shake off some of the conventions that we all get stuck with. People have a limitless capacity for expression, fun and communication but in Britain we tend to be very restrained in what we feel we can and can't do."

Ms Francis's project follows in the (fabric) pattern of artists such as Christo and Jeanne-Claude who wrapped everything from the Reichstag to the Pont Neuf, but her Couch project, funded by Creative Scotland, is a little more domestic in scale.

"The cottage is a lovely, traditional place and the fabric is just the kind of thing your gran might have upholstered her sofa with," she said. "But taking something that would normally be on the inside and putting it on the outside, turns the unremarkable into something very unusual."

She is also going to make a suit for herself out of the same material.

Ms Francis, who has previously dressed as a pink rabbit and vacuumed local woodlands for her work, is one of 76 artists and craftsmen and women who are taking part in the Spring Fling in Dumfries and Galloway in its 10th anniversary year.

Andrew Dixon, chief executive of Creative Scotland, believes Couch will be one of the standouts of this year's show. "Alice Francis's cottage is a spectacular addition to the programme and, for this Year of Creative Scotland, a great example of attracting visitors to the country's creative places," he said.

Read the orginal here.