River Nith WaterOrgan Strikes the Right Note

River Nith WaterOrgan
WaterOrgan by Mark Zygadlo Image Credit - credit Colin Hattersley

A river-powered pipe organ floating on the river Nith in Dumfries and Galloway struck a chord with visitors to this year’s Spring Fling open studios weekend on 25-27 May.

The event, which featured 93 artists’ and makers’ studios across Dumfries and Galloway, once again attracted people from all across Scotland, the UK and the wider world.

This year’s attractions also included WaterOrgan, supported by EventScotland (part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate), which was built by Mark Zygadlowho is well known for highly inventive public artworks.

The 18ft musical catamaran was moored near the old Auldgirth Bridge, off the A76 between Dumfries and Thornhill.

A water wheel mounted between the hulls powered the organ via a system of cogs and drive belts.

Joanna Macaulay, Events and Exhibitions Manager for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: It was a lovely weekend and the feedback we’ve had so far is that visitors really enjoyed the chance to explore the region, visit studios and meet artists and makers in every part of Dumfries and Galloway.  
“As ever people came from far and wide – I even met a couple who now live in South Africa but try and come back for a visit each year to coincide with Spring Fling.
“There was a great response to the WaterOrgan as well, with people really enjoying the chance to see and hear such an unusual artwork – and in such a beautiful setting.”

The project aimed to get people thinking more about our rivers, the environmental issues affecting them, what they mean to us and how we can live with them in positive and celebratory way.

Among those who went to see the public artwork was Councillor Adam Wilson, who is the Dumfries and Galloway Council Events Champion.

He said: “Spring Fling helps showcase our scenic region, and demonstrates the creativity of many dozens of artists and craft makers who are inspired by the landscape here.
“It is also a great example of collaborative working, between the artists, craft makers and Upland CIC who run Spring Fling, to attract residents and visitors to studios across Dumfries and Galloway, for the benefit of businesses and our tourism sector. 
“The council is proud to support Spring Fling as one of the Signature Events of our Major Festivals and Events Strategy 2018-2021.”

Spring Fling is a chance to meet painters, original printmakers, jewellers, glassmakers, wood and metal workers and photographers in the cottages, farms, galleries, mills, converted churches and other places that they work and live.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events, and we are delighted with the success of this year’s Spring Fling. 
“The organisers have delivered another wonderful event, which, has once again, brought together an impressive line-up of artists and makers, indicative of Dumfries and Galloway’s flourishing arts scene. ”

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