Spring Fling's Newcastle DG|Out opened last Friday at the Biscuit Factory and runs until . Several of the 15 exhibitors (mostly from D&G but also including contributors from Cumberland as part of Spring Fling’s Neighbours scheme) met with art lovers from the Newcastle area at a special preview on Friday evening.
Among them was Heather Davies, who's exhibits include Staithes, which was inspired by the North East fishing village where she used to live.
She said: “I have close connection with the North East and come to the area a lot, so I was really pleased to have the chance to take part in this exhibition. The standard of the work here is excellent and it’s great to be part of it.”
The Biscuit Factory exhibition is one of three (the others in Glasgow and London) that Spring Fling is staging in major UK cities to raise awareness of south west Scotland as a centre of artistic excellence.
Helen Acklam, whose work is inspired by Orkney and by Norse mythology, said: “It’s a superb chance for new audiences to get an idea of the incredible creativity there is in Dumfries and Galloway, and for the artists themselves to be showcased in a new area.”
Other exhibitors at the preview included Daniel Lacey a furniture maker whose magnificent ￡7,200 hand-made chair, called Throne, is among the most remarkable pieces on show.
The quality of Daniel Lacey’s craftsmanship is indicated by his inclusion in a book entitled Furniture with Soul – Master Woodworkers and their Craft which celebrates him as one of the 10 best up-and-coming cabinet makers in the world.
Also present was Michael Batey, whose powerful paintings capture the energy, movement and light of the dramatic sykscapes he sees in his other life as a gamekeeper. Three pieces by willow sculptor Lizzie Farey are on display. Much of the material she uses is grown in her own garden and willow field.
Leah Black, Spring Fling Director, said: “The exhibition has got off to the best possible start with lots of appreciation from visitors and the first sales coming almost immediately. The theme is ‘home’ and everything being exhibited has been chosen because it would look fantastic as part of people’s homes.
“With Easter coming up we hope that even more people will take the chance to come to the Biscuit Factory and get an idea of what Dumfries and Galloway has to offer.”
Rachel Brown, Gallery Manager at The Biscuit Factory, added: “We are delighted to be supporting Spring Fling by hosting an exhibition of a selection of their artists’ work. As the co-ordinator of the annual Ouseburn Open Studios event here in Newcastle, I recognise the importance of reaching new audiences to engage with our networks of artists craftspeople and designers.
“The standard of work in the exhibition we are hosting presents a wonderful introduction to people who perhaps have not already heard of or attended Spring Fling and I am sure will result in many more visitors to this fantastic event.”
Prices in the exhibition range from around ￡60 to over ￡7,000. The full list of exhibitors is:
‧ Daniel Lacey – bespoke furniture
‧ Hannah McAndrew – slipware ceramics
‧ Hannah Morris-Knowles - jewellery
‧ Heather Davies – painter
‧ Helen Acklam – painter, mixed media
‧ Jane Ibbotson - textiles
‧ Jo Gallant – textiles
‧ Lisa Hooper – print-maker
‧ Lisa Rothwell-Young - jeweller
‧ Lizzie Farey – willow artist
‧ Mike Batey - painter
‧ Pamela Grace – illustrator/print-maker
‧ Peter Brown – furniture maker
‧ Peter Wareing - ceramics
‧ Shona Guthrie - jewellery