(Scots Law) A common; a piece of land in which two or more persons have a common right.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring is Sprung in Annan

We've reached April already, and Spring is slowly springing - and kicking off with gusto in Annan with two new exhibitions led by Spring Fling and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The first, Springing Wild features work by eight visual artists and designers from across Dumfries and Galloway. Between them they have won many awards for their depictions of wildlife and nature – John Threlfall was named as Bird Artist of the Year 2007 while Margaret Walty has RSA gold medals for her botanical work.
Springing Wild has been organised to coincide with another remarkable wildlife exhibition in the same venue. Tiger, Tiger is about the work of Frederick Walter Champion who pioneered the use of tripwire photography to capture remarkable night-time images of animals in India. Both run from 1 April to 31 May at Annan Museum.
Among the animals photographed by FW Champion, who lived in the region, was the Langur Monkey – a creature that also captured the imagination of John Threlfall when he visited India. The Rockliffe based former ski instructor recently published Drawn to the Edge, an artist’s look at the wildlife and habitats of the UK coastline, which was chosen by The Guardian as one of the best nature books of 2013.

Langur Monkey John Threlfall

John said: “I am really looking forward to the exhibition. I share FW Champion’s love of tigers and other Indian wildlife. I have spent time in tiger reserves – these are animals with such an aura and presence about them, it is a powerful emotional experience to see one.
Langur Monkey FW Champion

Springing Wild exhibitor Margaret Walty, from Langholm, tends to focus on the plants birds and animals around her and even took up gardening so she could grow wild flowers to use in her paintings.
She said: “Virtually all my work is inspired by the nature and wildlife around me, and I am very fortunate because Langholm has such lovely hills and woods around it. Having said that, one of the pictures I will be showing is of an otter which my husband and I saw when we sat down to have our packed lunch on a beach on Iona. He arrived on the rocks, sat there and ate his fish, then plopped back in the water.”

The Mouse by printmaker Colin Blanchard

Springing Wild is one of a series of exhibitions across the region, and elsewhere in the UK, being organised by Spring Fling ahead of its annual visual art and craft open studios event which takes place from 24-26 May.
FW Champion used camera traps and tripwires to produce photographs of Indian wildlife in the 1920s and 30s. Champion went against the fashion for shooting with rifles and took up the camera. The resulting work is stunning and evocative.
Night shots triggered by tripwires were, at the time, unique and his work has had a profound effect on many wildlife photographers and conservation supporters since.
Fred Champion retired to Cairnsmore on the edge of the Galloway Forest Park, where his family still live. His photographs were donated to the Natural History Museum in London. Tiger, Tiger celebrates his life’s work with a selection of his images and his original camera equipment.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone is very welcome to come to the launch event for these exhibitions. It starts at 6.30pm on Friday 4 April - details below. To help us prepare for the evening it would be appreciated if you could RSVP to or telephone 01387 253374.

    Launching the 2014 season of exhibitions and events at Annan Museum

    6.30pm Sound and Vision
    Dr Ian Convery and Dr Volker Deecke from the University of Cumbria will give a short talk on their current studies of animal behaviour using new technologies in image and sound capture. They are currently studying bears in Canada, killer whales around Shetland and are about to embark on a project studying rare snow leopards in Kazakhstan.

    7.30pm Reception
    An opportunity to view the Tiger Tiger and Springing Wild exhibitions, meet some of the Spring Fling artists and see some of the equipment used by the University of Cumbria research team. Refreshments served.