96 Artists & Makers Ready To Open Their Studio Doors For Spring Fling 2022

Spring Fling, which takes place over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend from 2-5 June, will see 96 participants all across Dumfries and Galloway, throw open their doors to welcome the public.

The event, set up in the aftermath of the foot and mouth epidemic, now hopes to make a significant contribution in the drive to rebuild after the COVID pandemic.

DGWGO met up with Dawn Henderby, Arts Officer at Gracefield Arts Centre and Joanna Jones, Artistic Director at Upland, to find out more

Dawn said “Well this is its twentieth year which is amazing because I’ve been here right since the very beginning. It’s an open studios event right across Dumfries and Galloway. When it first started up, there wasn’t any kind of selection process. The team here just decided to start an open studios event.”

It was very much led by my colleague at the time Jane MacArthur who was the visual arts development officer but with support from Gracefield.

Joanna Jones, Assistant Director at Upland said” We have a couple of commissions this year. As it’s our 20th event, we have commissioned Colin Tennant, who’s a local photographer and filmmaker, to look at where the event has come from and how it’s influenced the region and the participant’s life.”

“We also have commissioned Sarah Stewart who is a participant in this year’s event to make a special edition print. So we’ve got twenty prints for 20 years.”

This year’s event will mark a return to being a physical first event after two years in which it was largely or completely digital.

This year’s programme includes:

  • Biscuit Factory Exhibition: 14 May to 24 July at the Biscuit Factory, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Twenty past and present Spring Flingers fly the flag for the art and craft of south west Scotland at the UK’s largest art, craft and design gallery.
  • Spring Fling at 20: 28 May to 2 July at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries. An exhibition featuring work by more than 40 past and present participants.
  • Modern Makers: 14 May to 25 June at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries. An exhibition celebrating the Modern Makers programme which allows young people to learn traditional craft techniques.
  • Spring Fling Open Studios Weekend: 2-5 June across Dumfries and Galloway. Close to 100 specially selected artists and makers open their studios to the public.

Visitors will be able to follow six colour-coded routes taking them round studios in different parts of the region and some studios will have special evening openings and offer other attractions like demonstrations. As ever there will also be bus tours round selected studios.

There will also be an illustrated online talk by artist Amy Whiten of Recoat, about the highly successful Rural Mural project. And for those who can’t attend Spring Fling in person, there are virtual studios to explore on the website.