D&G Artist Helps Create Large New Mural as Gift to Newcastle


Spring Fling Rural Mural goes urban at the Toffee Factory


Artists from Italy and Scotland have created a large-scale mural at Newcastle’s Toffee Factory as part of an international project.

Morag Macpherson, from Dumfries and Galloway and Rome-based street artist Tellas headed straight for the city after completing a large-scale artwork at a sheep farm deep in the Scottish countryside.

The pair form one of three teams involved in Spring Fling Rural Mural (SFRM), which have been creating big, bold works of public art in one of the

Morag Macpherson

country’s most sparsely populated areas.

As the theme of this year’s SFRM is “exchange”, and because it is taking place as Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the decision was made to introduce a novel twist and take Rural Mural urban in major UK and European cities.

Clare Hanna, Director (maternity cover) of the Upland arts agency which is organizing SFRM, said: “This is a gift to the city and we hope it will strengthen the connections between our region and Newcastle.

“The Newcastle mural and the one Morag and Tellas created in Dumfries and Galloway really echo each other, despite being in very different environments.

“It’s good that we can bring together national and international artists to create large, bold, colourful and fun works of public art across the country and in Europe.”

SFRM is part of Spring Fling, Scotland’s premier visual art and craft open studios event, which will see 94 artists and makers across Dumfries and Galloway throw open their doors to the public from 28 to 30 May. The murals will be one of the main attractions as visitors from all over the world travel between studios.

Spring Fling has close links with Newcastle, Berlin and Glasgow, having previously held events and exhibitions in all three cities.

SFRM is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and by Creative Scotland.

The Newcastle mural is a large, colourful abstract design and has been created in an area renowned for its murals and street art.

Morag said: “This has been fun to create and we very much hope that it’s something that people in Newcastle will enjoy. The response we’ve had from people on the street while we’ve been working has been excellent.”

The work has taken place in collaboration with Newcastle’s Unit 44 gallery who worked with Upland to find exactly the right site.

Danny Hughes, Unit 44 Director, said: “It’s a really exciting project – to have artists coming here from Italy and Scotland to create a large new piece of public art for the city is superb.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “In 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we are delighted to be supporting Spring Fling’s Rural Mural project, which will provide a fantastic platform for local Dumfries and Galloway artists to work collaboratively with international talent, and to showcase their work to a wider audience.”

It is hoped that people who like the urban murals may want to visit Dumfries and Galloway for the Spring Fling weekend. The Dumfries and Galloway sites are:

  • The Mossburn Animal Centre, Hightae. On the side of a large, stone farm building at this centre for ill-treated and abandoned animals. It is visible from B7020. The creators were Berlin-based arts duo 44 Flavours (Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle) and Dumfries and Galloway visual artist Rory Laycock.
  • Meiklewood Farm, Ringford, Castle Douglas. Tellas, from Rome, teamed up with Kirkcudbright-based Morag Macpherson to create a mural on a large steading near the A75.
  • Craigdarroch Arms Hotel, Moniaive. Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie from Recoat in Glasgow collaborated with Morag Paterson from near Thornhill. Their mural is on a gable end at a pub renowned for hosting arts events.

Rory and 44 Flavours will be creating a new urban mural in Berlin while Recoat and Morag Paterson will paint their second work in Glasgow.

Visitors to Spring Fling can also still see some of the 2014 murals. The original project included created artists like 1010 and Will Barras.

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