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Record Number of Studios will Open Their Doors for Spring Fling

16.1.2024

A record-breaking 104 studios will be welcoming in the public for Dumfries and Galloway’s 22nd annual Spring Fling Open Studios Weekend.

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Image: Anne Butler in her studio, Spring Fling 2023 by Colin Hattersley
Image: Anne Butler in her studio, Spring Fling 2023 by Colin Hattersley

A record-breaking 104 studios will be welcoming in the public for Dumfries and Galloway’s 22nd annual Spring Fling Open Studios Weekend.

Taking place from 25-27 May it’s a hugely popular opportunity to meet and see the latest work by an abundance of artists and makers – many are popular regulars, others are taking part for the first time.

Renowned as the foremost event of its kind in Scotland, Spring Fling embraces everything from paintings, original prints, ceramics, glass, jewellery, furniture, photography and textiles to experimental and installation art.

While most of the artists and makers are based in the region, organisers Upland CIC also have a New Graduate, Neighbours and a Springback scheme.

These allow artists and makers from adjoining areas to take part along with people who have strong connections with Dumfries and Galloway but are currently living elsewhere.

Joanna Jones, Upland Assistant Director, said: “Interest in being part of Spring Fling is going from strength to strength – which is great for our visitors, for the region and for the artists and makers themselves.

“And this year we have 104 studios taking part, four more than 2023, and an all-time record for an event which dates back over 20 and has grown to become a much-loved part of the country’s cultural calendar.

“Dumfries and Galloway has an incredibly vibrant and exciting artistic community and we take huge pride in showcasing some of the very best it has to offer.

“As ever, a visit to Spring Fling is a chance to meet remarkable people, visit wonderful studios in some highly unusual settings, and explore one of Scotland’s least known but most beautiful rural regions.”

This year’s 13 new artists and makers are painters Amanda Hayler, Yuliya Lennon, Scott McFarlane, Sarah Louise Plant and David Quinn, sculptor Kerry Samantha Boyes, installation artist Hetal Chudasama, printmakers Richard Foster and Sarah Ross-Thompson, jewellery maker Elizabeth Gault, ceramicists Elspeth Hart and Rebecca J Woods plus bladesmith Timothy Westley who makes chefs’ knives.

This year’s Neighbours include Gail Kelly, a printmaker from Northern Ireland as well as Ruth Clayton and Miles-Moore Ceramics from Cumbria.

Those returning for 2024 include painters Anne Butler, printmakers Joshua Miles and Lisa Hooper, mixed media artist Laura Boswell, furniture maker and woodworker Rachel Ashcroft and textile artist Laura Derby.

Joshua, who moved to Scotland from South Africa and whose studio is in Kirkcudbright, said: “Spring Fling is the most important event in a local artist’s calendar. This a sought-after event to be a part of and the reason I moved to the area.”

Laura Boswell, who is also based in Kirkcudbright added: “My first experience of Spring Fling last year was excellent, the event was challenging in such a good way with inquisitive and knowledgeable visitors.

“It was also very clear how highly the event is regarded by visitors and locals and it’s very important to me to associate with recognised excellence.”

One of the distinguishing features of Spring Fling is that all the participants are specially selected for the quality for their work.

The open studios event also plays an important role in supporting artists and makers who are often working in remote areas – and contributes significantly to the region’s economy.

Since its conception, Spring Fling has attracted around 174,000 visitors who have made over 546,000 studio visits.

In 21 years over £10.2 million has been spent in the studios and the event has brought over £17.5 million for the region’s economy.

Visitors will be able to follow six colour-coded routes taking them round studios in different parts of the region.

Some studios will have special evening openings and there will be other attractions like walking and bus tours and, demonstrations on the lead up to the event.

For the full list of participating studios visit www.spring-fling.co.uk.
Brochures can be ordered from the Spring Fling website and will be available in April.