Spring Fling Promises Sound, Vision & An Abundance Of Intriguing Art 

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From light projections on Moon Jars to a sound installation developed from the one of Burns’ favourite Scots songs – Spring Fling 2021 will feature an abundance of intriguing artworks. 

Among more than 60 specially selected artists and makers, from across Dumfries and Galloway, will be ceramicist Ruth Elizabeth Jones, based in Moniaive, and visual artist Emma Varley, from Dumfries.

They have developed a series of collaborative pieces that are striking interactions of digital drawing and ceramics, fusing tradition with technology.

During Spring Fling, which runs from 29 May to 6 June, visitors to their online studios will be able to see their individual works and collaborations including Earthlight their new experiment using digital drawings and projected light on a collection of hand built ceramic vessels.

The ceramic works include a Moon Jar. Inspired by traditional vessels made during the Joseon Dynasty in Korea, the Moon Jar’s convex form and smoke fired body absorb and reflect the digital drawing as coloured light.

Earthlight their latest work will be released as a short film on Friday 29th May to mark the opening of Spring Fling 2021.

A contrasting piece of work will be The Call, a specially-commissioned sound and sculptural installation by Katie Anderson from near Annan.

Two performers will move large, sculptural speakers and listening devices around the space, that encourage playful exploration of site and our audible landscape, whilst playing an original contemporary composition created from recordings of people singing the chorus of Scots song Ca’ the Yowes.

The song, thought to have been from a poem by Ayrshire’s Isabel Pagan, has been popularised at different times by figures such as Robert Burns and Dougie MacLean.

Katie said: “So many Scots words have lovely sounds, so even if someone doesn’t understand what they mean they are wonderful to hear.

“In this case we invited people to record themselves singing the chorus of Ca’ the Yowes – and we’ve manipulated the recordings so you can no longer hear the individual words, but you experience the loveliness of the sound.

“The result is something very naturalistic, with the performers calling and responding to each other – something like human birdsong.”

Live performances of The Call (which is supported by Creative Scotland) will take place at the Spring Fling Pop UPsat Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse (Saturday 29 May, 1pm and Sunday, 30 May, 1pm) and at Ottersburn Gallery, Dumfies (Saturday, 5 June, 1pm). Visitors can also hear the installation in situ at Mill on the Fleet from 29 May to 4 June between 10am to 5pm.

Work by 32 Spring Fling artists and makers will be showcased at the two Spring Fling Pop-UPs which take place from 29 May to 6 June.

All the participants, who range from painters, potters, photographers and printmakers to jewellery, film and glass makers , will have their own online studio.

Joanna Macaulay, Assistant Director for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “This year’s event combines online and physical events in ways that we hope will be really appealing – with lots of intriguing and unusual artworks presented in imaginative and accessible ways.

“The idea is that even though we could not hold our usual open studios weekend, there are lots of ways to engage with the art and the artists.

“It’s a huge tribute to our artists and makers that they have found so many exciting ways to overcome the obstacles created by Covid so that people can enjoy their work.”

Throughout Spring Fling there will be online activities including digital workshops supported by EventScotland.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting Spring Fling, through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund. Events play a vital role in our communities by supporting artists and bringing about social and economic change.  

“Through the event’s pop-ups and digital workshop programme, local audiences will have the perfect opportunity to connect with the works of artists and makers in a safe and engaging way.” 

The programme also includes: 

  • Wish You Were Here! online exhibition of small-scale work that celebrates the Dumfries and Galloway region, from 29 May to 23 June.

Outdoor workshops  

  • Sketchbook Walkshop with Elizabeth Gilbey
  • Garden Adventures in Paint with Hazel Campbell 
  • Pen, Ink & Watercolour with Pamela Grace. SOLD OUT

Online talks 

  • Sow a Little Wildness Back with Peter Smith.
  • Creative Conversations with Clare Dawdry & Kate Ive.
  • SSA and Spring Fling Participants

Online demonstrations 

  • Live Print Demonstration with Anne Waggot Knott.
  • Jewellery Demonstration with Alison Macleod.

Online for children and families  

  • Draw Along with Lucy – A Spring Fling Special.

Please note that tickets for talks and workshops need to be booked in advance. 

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