Spring Fling and Wigtown Serve up Poetry, Pictures and Digital Delights

Gill White
Gill White

Wigtown Book Festival visitors – and people around the world – are being invited to contribute stories and pictures to a colourful digital art project.

Pop-Up Story, by digital artist Gill White, is one of a pair of collaborations between the festival and Spring Fling – Scotland’s premier open studios visual art and craft event.

Each day of the Wigtown Book Festival, which runs from 25 September to 4 October, Gill will invite folks to write, draw, make and share stories in different ways.

The days will have a different theme designed for visitors at the festival to have fun through collective storytelling. It begins with The Naked Paper, a tongue in cheek observation about creative procrastination.

Tell a Story About and Story Swap … will see postcards pop-up around Wigtown inviting people to write their own story inspired by words or drawings.

Fictional Feasts will ask book lovers to send in their favourite fictional food quotes and see them recreated in paper. While Playable Paper is about revealing an optical illusions on paper.

Visitors can experience each daily pop up dotted around Wigtown and at Gill’s Pop-Up Story studio at the Bowling Pavilion

Gill, who is Spring Fling’s artist in residence at Wigtown, said: “This is about having fun with storytelling in all sorts of different forms, and sharing it with each other.

“It’s all about being spontaneous and an opportunity to enjoy playing with story ideas freely without any pressure for things needing to be perfect, in fact the messier the better!”

Indeed, you don’t even have to go to the festival to take part you can go direct to the website at www.pop-up--story.com.

This approach worked superbly for Marjorie Lotfi Gill who will be presenting poems created by visitors to the Spring Fling open studios weekend in May.

As writer in residence she held workshops where members of the public were encouraged to respond to pieces of art on show in a number of studios. Others made submissions online.

Marjorie said: “The response was tremendous, we had around 150 submissions, many from the workshops and some from overseas – as far away as the USA and Rajasthan.

“I will be reading around 20 of these poems, and some of my own works, at Wigtown.

“And Spring Fling artist Sarah Stewart has created original prints with eight of the poems which will be given permanent homes around Wigtown – it’s a lovely way to bring to project full circle.”

Festival-goers can attend Marjorie’s free event, which is called The Poetry of Art, at The Living Room at 3pm on Saturday, 26 September.

Leah Black, Spring Fling Director, said: “We’ve got a great seven-year tradition of imaginative collaborations with Wigtown, and 2015 is excellent because we have two really engaging projects.

“Both bring different art forms together in a way that’s really fun and which give everyone the chance to get involved.

“It’ll be lovely for a literary audience to hear poems created at an open studios weekend, and also to create their own stories for a digital arts project.”