Artist Natalie McIlroy has returned to Dumfries and Galloway from her home in The Hague especially to take part in Spring Fling 2015.
A total of 94 studios in every part of the region have thrown open their doors this weekend for Scotland’s premier contemporary visual art and craft event.
Most of those taking part live and work in south-west Scotland, but others are welcomed as part of special schemes like Springback, which encourages artists like Natalie who have a connection with the area to return and share their work.
Natalie, whose family are in Langholm, is a site-specific installation artist and her exhibition at the Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries features pieces from four different national and international projects.
These included one which used beautiful hand-made glass and another showed photographs of people round Wigtown which were taken as part of a project to revive the fortunes of the Galloway Pippin Apple.
Natalie, who recently moved to Holland, said: “I do a lot of travelling and international residencies and this is a great chance to come back to this area and show the work I’ve been doing. It’s really important to return to your roots, it makes you realise how much home influences your work wherever you are.
“And these days Dumfries and Galloway is such an exciting place for the arts and gives so much support. In the last few days I have been talking to young artists here who are involved with some brilliant projects.”
Dumfries and Galloway is increasingly recognised as a vibrant rural centre for art and craft in Scotland.
Leah Black, Spring Fling Director, said: “Spring Fling gives people from all over the country, and overseas, the chance to experience the amazing creative energy of Dumfries and Galloway.
“This is our 13th annual open studios weekend and it’s shaping up to be one of the best. There’s a huge variety of art and craft to enjoy, some fabulous studios to see, and it’s all taking place in one of Scotland’s loveliest regions.”
Each year Spring Fling now attracts over 13,000 visitors over the event weekend and in 2014 brought over £1,400,000 to the local economy including spend in artists’ studios.
• On Sunday at 6pm Natalie will be joining forces with horticulturalist Jools Cox for an event called Visual Art and Heritage Fruit in Dumfries and Galloway. It takes place at the Gracefield Arts Centre, 28 Edinburgh Road, Dumfries. There will be the chance to sample Scottish wine and cider.