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The Fling was fun

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
The Fling was fun

THOUSANDS of people toured artist’s studios over the weekend helping make the 2016 Spring Fling one of the ‘most colourful and fun’ to date.
The organisers of the art and craft event say it was a massive success and created a buzz around the region.
In total 94 painters, potters, photographers, printmakers, woodworkers, jewellers, costumiers and more threw open their workshops and studios to the public for the 14th Spring Fling.
Willow weaver Lizzie Farey was exhibiting in Kirkcudbright and said: “The weekend has been absolutely superb. We have had so many people coming to the studios, it’s been wonderful.”
Blacksmith Adam Booth also took part and said: “It’s been a fabulous weekend so far, with lots of people loving the chance to see so many studios and so many different forms of art and craft all round the region.”

Adam Booth with some of his work
Adam Booth with some of his work

Meanwhile, it was also a chance for some of the area’s young artists to showcase their work.
The winners of this year’s Emerge programme, run by Upland, the organisation behind Spring Fling, had the chance to exhibit during Spring Fling.
Clare Williams who works with textiles and surface designs, and is based near Lockerbie, exhibited her hats, scarves and knitwear at the Mustard Gallery in Langholm following a mentoring period with gallery owner Lisa Rothwell-Young, a jeweller.
Clare said: “It’s been a great experience and people seem to have really liked the new range.
“I’ve really been enjoying working with Lisa and have learned a great deal from her ahead of Spring Fling.”

Clare with her display
Clare with her display

Dumfries painter Morgan Hardie also took part. She was mentored by Denise Zygadlo and said: “I’ve been introduced by Denise to other portrait painters and have learned a lot from them – the whole thing has really helped to build my confidence as an artist.”

Morgan in front of one of her pieces
Morgan in front of one of her pieces

Reflecting on the success of Spring Fling 2016, Clare Hanna, from Upland, said: “Our team was touring the studios and chatting to visitors and participants all weekend and the atmosphere was lovely. This really is such a special event for the region, and for Scotland.”
And thoughts are already turning to next year’s event. Interim director of Upland Joyce Woodcock said: “There was a tremendous buzz about this year’s event and we are already looking forward to the next one – which will be a real landmark as it’s the 15th.”

Textile designer Morag Macpherson
Textile designer Morag Macpherson
Poet Skye Loneragan entertains
Poet Skye Loneragan entertains

Photos by Colin Hattersley

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