Galloway artists heading to Newcastle exhibition

Suzi Plunkett from Newton Stewart
Suzi Plunkett from Newton Stewart

Spring Fling has revealed the names of leading Galloway artists and makers taking part in the new exhibition at Newcastle’s Biscuit Factory Gallery.

The five topped a poll carried out among the 18,000 visitors who saw work by 95 artists at last year’s Spring Fling – Scotland’s most successful contemporary art and craft open studios event.

With the Spring Show taking place at The Biscuit Factory on from 7 March – 24 May (with a special preview from 6pm-9pm on 6 March) the exhibitors have been named as:

Heather Blanchard – a painter whose work follows the beauty of the changing seasons.

Suzi Plunkett – an illustrator whose intricate “Little Dot Creations” now feature on everything from cushions to mobile phone cases

Phil McMenemy – a colour-blind photographer, renowned for his exquisite use of colour.

Peter Wareing – ceramicist inspired by natural forms and woodland patterns

Rob Jarvis – a former nuclear physicist who discovered his true vocation as a craftsman creating wonderful bespoke furniture.

The show follows on from a highly successful exhibition by Spring Fling at the Biscuit Factory in 2014.

Leah Black, Spring Fling Director, said: “We loved the idea of bringing the work of our most popular artists and makers to the Biscuit Factory. Last year’s exhibition was great and we thought people would really enjoy a second chance to see some of the amazing creativity that comes out of Dumfries and Galloway.

“The five winners offer a real mix of work – the one thing that unites them is that they are all highly accomplished, so we think this is something that people will really enjoy coming to see.”

Describing his photography Phil McMenemy said: “I strive to be there for those special moments in time to celebrate the glories of Galloway specifically and Scotland in general – this is a fine land!

“The majority of my images are planned meticulously to take into account the changes of season, the movement of the sun, the weather and the general ‘rightness’ of composition and ‘feel’ of a particular scene.

“My colour-blindness continues to baffle and intrigue people, however I continue to feel fortunate to be colour-blind as it means there is one less thing to confuse matters when I am out in the field creating work.”

Heather Blanchard said of her painting: “My recent work has been a journey through the seasons, from bright summer seascapes to crisp winter landscapes.

“Changing light is endlessly exciting it gives every season its own magic. Simple gates or trees one passes every day, things hardly noticed at times can be completely transformed from one season to another and inspire me to paint.”

The exhibition is free to visit and includes a series of pieces from each of the exhibitors.

Rachel Brown, Biscuit Factory General Manager, said: “It is a pleasure to host the work of the winning artists as voted for by visitors to the Spring Fling event in 2014.

“In this sense the exhibition is a publicly curated show which will be interesting for us to see how our particular audience responds. We are pleased to strengthen professional connections to Scotland and its artists and look forward to continuing our creative relationship.”

The Biscuit Factory is the UK’s largest independent art, craft and design gallery and is at 16 Stoddart St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1AN.