Fantastic Rural Murals to Spring up Across Dumfries and Galloway

International artistic collaboration to create large-scale artworks on buildings in south-west Scotland then Glasgow and Germany

Large-scale artworks will soon appear on buildings and vehicles in Dumfries and Galloway before spreading to Glasgow, elsewhere in the UK and to Europe.

Next April sees the return of the highly successful Spring Fling Rural Mural (SFRM), an international artistic collaboration which involved the creation of large colourful paintings on barns, cottages, a former electricity substation, a tractor and even a horse blanket in 2014.

This time the initiative will be even bigger with the first wave of artworks being created in south-west Scotland, followed by Glasgow, elsewhere in the UK and Germany.
The search is now on for suitable structures in Dumfries and Galloway and for artists who would like to take part in the initiative.

The murals, which will include buildings and probably a travelling artwork, will be a major attraction for the next Spring Fling – Scotland’s premier contemporary visual art and craft open studios event from 28 to 30 May.

SFRM is being organised by Upland CIC (which runs Spring Fling) and Glasgow-based mural specialists Recoat. It is being supported by EventScotland as part of Scotland’s 2016 Year of Architecture, Innovation and Design.

Clare Hanna, Director of Upland (maternity cover), said: “Rural Mural will be even brighter and more fun than before – creating big works of art in the heart of the Scottish countryside.
“It’s a great chance to make a series of bold artworks to be enjoyed by the many thousands of visitors Spring Fling brings to Dumfries and Galloway and by local residents.

“The project will also see us work with local communities on the placement, design and execution of the murals to create opportunities for them to be involved in Spring Fling and benefit both culturally and economically from the project.

“Right now we are looking for interesting sites and for locally-based artists to work alongside an international team of Scottish and German mural-makers.
“What makes SFRM 2016 even more innovative is that after Spring Fling is over there will be a second wave, giving Dumfries and Galloway the chance to take Rural Mural to major national and international cities.”

Amy Whiten, Recoat Manager, added: “The first Rural Mural was very successful and created some popular new landmarks. People loved seeing these amazing, colourful paintings as they were driving through the countryside.

“Once again we’ll be bringing together a team of nationally and internationally-known street artists to collaborate with artists from the area.

“The artists love SFRM because it’s a superb way to exchange ideas, develop skills and to work at a really large scale.

“It’s also going to be great to have even more of an international exchange than before, and the chance to raise the profile of Scottish art in other parts of the UK and in Germany.”

Germany has been a particular focus for Spring Fling – it held an exhibition in Berlin in 2015 giving Dumfries and Galloway artists and makers a chance to showcase their work in front of a new international audience.

Types of site in Dumfries and Galloway
• SFRM is looking for a building visible from the road on or near the Spring Fling map routes.
• A building or structure visible from the road on or near the Spring Fling map routes and that could have a sculptural painted wooden element built onto it.
• A large vehicle with a smooth surface that can house a travelling mural.

• Any Upland artists to are eligible take part (for anyone who is not already a member it’s free to join) who are interested in collaboration and open to working with others to learn new skills and create concepts.
• The artists will collaborate to create large-scale murals in both D&G and in the cities.
Anyone wanting to put forward a potential site needs to contact Spring Fling by 14 January and artists wishing to take part in the project have until 25 January to apply. The murals in D&G will be painted between 2 and 17 April.

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