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WHEN Dumfries architect Luke Moloney first took on a run-down warehouse building in the town’s Queen Street, he was greeted by thousands of pigeons.
The birds had taken up roost in the former store of the stationers William C Gill & Co., and they were almost all that was left of interest on the other side of the well-known yellow door.
Luke cleared the building and fixed the roof and, as a first step in bringing the building back into use, restored the old shop premises and set out to find a good use for it, in the hope that it would bring some life back to the street.


One year down the line, and after an enormous team effort, there is a gallery behind the yellow door that sells and displays the talented efforts of over 30 of the region’s artists, craftmakers and writers.

Luke said: “I put together, with the help of a wonderful group of friends, an experimental pop-up gallery and shop for some weeks before Christmas time last year and it proved to be very successful.
“This was repeated briefly in January, the focus being an exhibition of artists’ books to coincide with the Big Burns Supper, and this was also a big hit.
“Many people – customers, visitors, and those involved in exhibiting and selling their work, running workshops, and manning the gallery – suggested that the pop-up activities should become permanent. There seemed to be a general consensus among all those involved, and so we set about forming a constituted group or association of creative practitioners, in order to run and make use of the small but interesting spaces that have now become the shop and gallery at ‘The Yellow Door’.”


The Yellow Door Group is a collective of artists working in the visual and fine arts, craftspeople, makers, poets, writers and their friends.

The group opened their new permanent shop and gallery at the beginning of April. The gallery is open three days a week and is run by group members, who volunteer their time and volunteers, as the number of


volunteers increases, this will extend to more opening hours in the imminent future.
“The gallery offers an exciting showcase for a range of local creative talent of a high quality, under one roof,” Luke explained.
“It’s a place where you can not only view and buy arts, crafts and books made in the region, but also talk to the makers and find out a little about them and their works.
“In addition, we are developing a programme of creative events such as workshops, book launches, demonstrations, musical events and talks: anything that would make good use of this small but warm and friendly space.”
The group’s summer exhibition runs until Saturday, September 6. Following on the programme is an embroidery exhibition by Margot McIntyre, from September 11 to 20; a wildlife exhibition being put together by John Threlfall and others from September 25 to October 11; and a Lynde Francis Trust Charity Exhibition, including a fashion show, exhibiting and selling work made by Zimbabwean artists, much of it from recycled and upcycled material, from October 16 to November 1. From December 3 to 24, the Group Members will be holding their own Winter or Christmas Exhibition.