Spring Fling Rescheduled
September has been a busy month, getting prepared for the rescheduled Spring Fling Event which is finally to take place during the week 5th-12th October. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Spring Fling is Upland’s flagship event, well regarded as one of the UK’s most successful contemporary visual art and craft events which takes place in Dumfries and Galloway in South West Scotland. Each year after the application process, around 80-90 practicing professional artists are selected to take part, and open their studios in May, attracting visitors, both locally and internationally.) https://www.spring-fling.co.uk/studios/
Spring Fling is one of the most important events in the calendar for a lot of local artists, so with the cancellation of the event in May, along with closed galleries and studios, it has been a tough year for many. With brochures already printed, it was a blow for Upland which is run as a community interest company, but it became apparent that it would have to be postponed. With lockdown easing, the new dates were set for October, and at one point for some artists it was potentially set to be an open studios event with limited numbers, but then with further restrictions returning a few weeks ago, it was a decided to make it completely online. To make it as interesting and successful an event as possible in light of this, Upland asked each of us to gather some material to make our individual Virtual Studios, including a write up of what we were planning to do, photographs and a video of our studio. My studio at Wasps has been operating very tight lockdown precautions with no visitors, so I managed a short visit and singlehandedly attempted a (somewhat shaky) walk around and spent the week editing it and some other footage together. It was quite exciting to make a video again (and editing a lot easier than it used to be) and got me wondering about making short films of the nature reserves I work in for my next project! If you fancy a look at my Virtual Studio 29 I’ve embedded the video below:
Next I set to work on the website, redesigning the artwork pages by series and adding work for sale in the shop; there will be a 10% discount throughout the Spring Fling event, and a special bargain section in which I’m calling my Paint Fund Sale! I have tweaked some of the other pages too, and there is more in progress which I will add during the week, including new reserve pages.
Finally there was an application to submit work for a small series of exhibitions called ‘Looking In’ to promote the Spring Fling event in Dumfries and Galloway, and to provide a non-contact opportunity for people to view art from the street. It was done in partnership with three art galleries across the region; The Look Out, Langholm, The Whitehouse Gallery, Kirkcudbright and Number 11, Wigtown. My painting will be exhibited at The Whitehouse Gallery in Kirkcudbright alongside work by Lisa Rothwell Young, Lizzie Farey, Julie Hollis and Jennie Ashmore from 5th-12th October with a private view on the 4th for Friends of Spring Fling and will be curated by Upland’s Joanna Macaulay and Grainne Rice (Upland Board, National Galleries of Scotland). Other Spring Fling artists are also setting up their own displays in studio windows, see here for more info.
With Spring Fling starting on Monday, hopes are high that it will be as successful as possible this year and we would all appreciate it if you could help us spread the word. From what I have seen so far of the studio preview pages, videos and workshops, it looks quite exciting, and definitely worth a look!
As part of the promotion for Spring Fling 2020, window displays have been set up to allow people to see work without visiting a studio. Venues include The Look Out, Langholm, The Whitehouse Gallery, Kirkcudbright & Number 11, Wigtown. My work can be seen at The Whitehouse Gallery in Kirkcudbright.