Curiosity will be at the heart of the second annual Spring Fling and Wigtown Book Festival writer’s residency

 

Spring Fling visitors may find themselves offered gifts of poetry as part of a collaboration with the Wigtown Book Festival.

 

The award-winning Skye Loneragan has been chosen as Writer in Residence for this year’s open studios contemporary visual art and craft event, which takes place across Dumfries and Galloway from 28 to 30 May.

 

The project will also see her take part in the internationally acclaimed Wigtown Book Festival, which runs from 23 September to 2 October.

 

An Edinburgh Fringe First and Sydney Poetry Prize winner, Skye contributed to Creative Scotland’s Cultural Programme surrounding the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, with her project Q-POETICS and will engage with visitors and some of the 94 Spring Fling artists and makers.

 

She said: “I am very excited to have been chosen as I’ve heard such a lot about Spring Fling and the Wigtown Book Festival, so it’s great to be able to respond to one through the other.”  

The overall theme of her residency will be “curiosity as currency”.

 

She said: “Part of the residency involves exchanging a poem for a moment in time. It’s a gentle and non-intrusive approach that arouses their curiosity and sparks a dialogue.”

It’s an approach Skye has taken in the past, sometimes chatting to people in festival queues while wearing a workman’s high vis vest emblazoned with the word “Poet”. Skye then plans to write a suite of poems, or new writing, in response to Spring Fling that she will perform at Wigtown.

 

She said: “Once you open a dialogue with someone the response tends to be really positive. “And what I’m also really looking forward to is meeting the artists and makers, creating connections between different art forms and the evolution as one responds to another.”

 

Spring Fling has for some years had an Artist in Residence at Wigtown Book Festival, but last year it was also decided to have a Writer in Residence at Spring Fling.

Clara Hanna, Director (maternity cover) for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: “We love the way Skye gently draws people in because they are intrigued to find out who she is and what she’s doing.

 

“As someone who trained as a visual artist but has 20 years of experience in poetry, playwrighting and performance Skye is perfectly placed to work in ways that will be really appealing to the audiences for Spring Fling and Wigtown.

 

“The residency is a really good example of how two of Scotland’s leading events can get people involved in different areas of the arts in fun and imaginative ways.”

 

The first Writer in Residence was Marjorie Lotfi Gill who encouraged people from across the world to take part. Her project saw 155 new pieces of writing – including poems and flash fiction – created in the run-up to the open studios weekend.

 

Adrian Turpin, Director of Wigtown Book Festival, said: “Skye is a talented writer with a strong track record of connecting with members of the public.  She is also an innovative performer of her own work and we can't wait to see how she interprets the visual richness of Spring Fling on the page and the stage. We're very lucky to have found her.”