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Article published 30/04/2021

Spring Fling has unveiled its full programme of events and activities – including pop ups, an online exhibition, virtual studios and a special audio art commission.

More than 60 artists and makers have been selected to take part, ranging from Jay Rubinstein who makes amazing wooden mobiles (many inspired by poetry) to the renowned watercolourist Hazel Campbell.



The two Spring Fling Pop-UPs will feature work by 32 artists and makers, with some being showcased at Ottersburn Gallery in Dumfries and others at Mill on the Fleet in Gatehouse of Fleet from 29 May to 6 June.

Jay, whose work will be shown at Ottersburn Gallery, is based near Dundrennan and divides his time between woodwork and volunteering for the locally-based charity Massive Outpouring of Love (MOOL).

His mobiles, including one inspired by William Blake’s The Tyger, are incredibly detailed – constructed from multiple layers of individually shaped pieces of wood and veneer. Other mobiles include “Caxtons”, which he made after reading A Martian Sends a Postcard Home by Craig Raine, and a fish made of birds which he created thanks to Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Despite being a trained cabinet maker, Jay spent most of his career in computing.

I loved woodwork and was able to return to it when I retired. I became fascinated with the idea of how lots of tiny pieces could be used to create a complex and moving whole.

Words or images from a poem often catch my imagination and lead me to make a mobile that captures an idea in three dimensions.

I had been planning to take part in Spring Fling last year, but then the pandemic meant that people couldn’t open their studios to the public. But I’m very much looking forward to having my work on show as part of this year’s pop ups.

Jay Rubinstein, artist

Around half the artists are contributing to Wish You Were Here! which is an online exhibition, from 29 May to 23 June, of small-scale work by Spring Fling artists that celebrates the Dumfries and Galloway region.

There will also be three workshops, three talks, two demonstrations and the Upland Creative Commission.

This will be a roaming audio artwork entitled The Call. Created by Katie Anderson which takes inspiration from bird and other animal calls and can be seen (and heard) by visitors to the Mill on the Fleet Spring Fling Pop-UP.

Each of Spring Fling’s participating artists and makers will have their own virtual studio for online visitors to browse – going live on 29 May.

Although we can’t welcome you into the studios physically as part of this year’s event, the virtual studios aim to recreate some of that magic. There’s so much else on offer too with an exhibition, demonstrations, online talks and demonstrations.

And for people living in the region there is also the chance to visit the Spring Fling Pop-Ups and see a really impressive variety of high-quality work, and to experience The Call and even to book a place on one of our special outdoor workshops.

We hope that people will join in with Spring Fling from all over the country and across the world for this celebration of creativity in Dumfries and Galloway.

Joanna Macaulay, Assistant Director for Upland which runs Spring Fling

Throughout the event there will also be live and recorded sessions going out from our participating artists and makers across their own channels. EventScotland is supporting the workshops, talks and pop-ups while Creative Scotland has provided funding towards digital accessibility and to commission The Call.

EventScotland is delighted to be supporting this year’s Spring Fling, through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund. With restrictions beginning to ease, the event’s hybrid programme featuring a variety of talks, workshops, and pop-ups, gives audiences local and further afield the perfect opportunity to enjoy this renowned arts event in a safe way.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events

For further details visit www.spring-fling.co.uk.