Spring Fling is just the thing this weekend

Teabag Paper Dresses
Teabag Paper Dresses

Scotland’s premier open studios event will feature everything from paintings, photography and original print to ceramics, jewellery, sculpture and textiles this weekend.

No fewer than 94 studios are taking part in Spring Fling 2015 which will see towns from Stranraer to Dumfries and beyond taking part.

Marjorie Lofti Gill

Marjorie Lofti Gill

Now in its 13th year the event attracted over 13,400 visitors in 2014, half from beyond the region, who contributed £1.4 million locally.

Artists have been preparing for months including paper artist Isabell Buenz who has been making the final adjustments to an unusal design which will be on display at The Aquarium in Gatehouse of Fleet and the nearby Cally Gardens – teabag dresses.

The dresses are all made from lengths of the finest quality teabag material – with enough for 600 cuppas going into the smaller and 850 into the more elaborate one. And while they are really intended for display rather than use, the artist says that they are surprisingly practical.

Isabell said: “You could go out to a party in one of these dresses and it would be fine – but you’d need to be careful getting between the car and the front door in the rain!”

And Spring Fling is also welcoming its first writer in residence and inviting visitors and other writers to create their own poetry and prose.

Poet Marjorie Lotfi Gill will hold free workshops in 10 of the studios including in Wigtown, Gatehouse and Clarebrand.

Marjorie said: “The weekend and the workshops will be great fun – a really good chance for one set of creative people to spark off another.

“I love the idea of people responding to visual art or craft and using it as the starting point for their own creativity.

“Some people might want to explore the story behind a painting, while others might see a piece and use it as a springboard for something entirely new.”

The workshops are not only for writers but for anyone wanting to have a go at looking at and exploring the art in a new way.

The residency, which is a collaboration with Wigtown Book Festival, has already seen Marjorie and others produce a series of new poems.

Writing created over the weekend will also be published on the blog and the best writing will be selected and presented at Wigtown Book Festival 2015.

Spring Fling takes place from 23-25 May and visitors can download or collect ready-printed maps to get around – or join bus and cycling tours.

See spring-fling.co.uk.