Dumfries and Galloway and beyond through the lenses of fine art photographers in Scotland’s premier open studios event
Fine art photographers capture our world in fresh and sometimes startling ways.
This year there will be five excellent photographers, emerging and established, taking part in the Spring Fling open studios weekend which takes place across Dumfries and Galloway from 27 to 29 May.
Each has a distinctive style that gives an alternative perspective on the region and on the wider world.
- Laura Hudson Mackay, from New Abbey, who works in Scotland, across Europe and in Morocco. These two pictures are from her ongoing Visions of Time project. Laura is a photographic artist and has been creating images for over a decade. Using both film and digital cameras, she works in black and white as it elegantly simplifies the image, leaving it raw, stripped back honest and timeless.
- Michal Šúr, a specialist in infrared, based in Newton Stewart. His photography is about contrast and simplicity in the natural world. Michal often returns to the same places time and again, studying the light, its intensity, direction, shapes, shadows and patterns in order to make the image he has imagined. He uses long exposures to enhance movement – to smooth the motion of water and clouds and blur the foliage in the wind but keep the rocks standing motionless. The photographs are made using a special infrared filter that produces unusual tonality, high contrast and surreal effects.
- Phil McMenemy, Laurieston. These photos are part of a series that investigates man’s impact on the natural environment of Galloway. Many people think of photography as a mechanical, technical process derived in the main through non-emotional means. Phil’s work, however, has a narrative and is derived entirely through emotions, responses and concepts in the context of Galloway and Scotland. He is unashamedly evangelical about photography’s place in the arts and strives to encourage folk to challenge preconceptions and view the medium without prejudice.
- Alistair Hamilton, Kirkcudbright. Alistair’s looks closely at the elements of a structure while others see the whole. His style is driven by observation of details and textures. Right now his images are becoming less pictorial and more abstract. He often chooses difficult locations like coastal rocks, industrial sites, deep woodland and uses small cameras that can be carried in his pocket.
- Caroline McQuistin, who went to Glenluce Primary School followed by Stranraer Academy and is currently taking a degree in photography at Edinburgh Napier University. The first image is part of a project about the Highlands. The wool in the heather reflects the huge impact that sheep have had on the region – creatures that were at the heart of the Clearances but also the bringers of economic wealth. The second shot was taken on Rathlin Island, off the coast of Northern Island, and reflects how the harvest of the sea is crucial to its culture and economy. Caroline’s ultimate ambition is to work for a magazine such as National Geographic.
The photographers are among 93 artists and makers taking part in the 15th anniversary Spring Fling.
Joanna Macaulay, Events and Exhibitions Manager for Upland Arts Development, which runs Spring Fling, said: “Photography has become an increasingly popular part of Spring Fling over the years and this year we have some superb work on show. All five of our photographers have that remarkable skill of being able to capture the world from different and unusual perspectives.”
For full details of everyone taking part in Spring Fling see the website at www.spring-fling.co.uk.
Image by Phil McMenemy