Spring Fling, in May of each year, is regarded as one of the UK’s most successful contemporary visual art and craft events, spanning the whole of Dumfries and Galloway here in South West Scotland. Close to a hundred artists and makers across our region open their studios to the public while a variety of art projects take place in various venues outside these as well. One of the art projects this year is the ‘Pop- up Story’ in Wigtown and I’d like to tell you about this one in particular because it looks as if it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Pop Up Story is led by Gill White as Spring Fling & Wigtown Book Festival artist-in-residence. I met her at the Wigtown Book Festival last September and caught up with her again a few days ago to ask her a few quick questions. I wanted to let you know a little bit about her as an artist and to tell you what she was doing back in Wigtown over the Spring Fling period. This is how it went:
Q. Hi Gill, It’s great to have you back in Wigtown. I wonder if you could tell us what sort of artist you are.
I am a Digital Creative, Writer, Director and Producer of design and film led interactive experiences. My artistic practice blends visual art,film, animation, creative writing and storytelling. Each project features site-specific interactive, films and participatory artworks designed for audiences to interact and have fun through collective play and storytelling.
I am part of Columbia University Digital Lab – Learn Do Share (LDS) network. This is a grassroots innovation engine; a combination of events, labs and peer production. We are a community for open collaboration, design fiction and social innovation. The three words LEARN, DO and SHARE embody our philosophy: we learn from everyone. We do by prototyping. We share what we learn.
I am a mentor and collaborator on Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things, http://sherlockholmes.io a live prototype developed and run by the Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab and Learn Do Share, www.learndoshare.net. The project explores new forms and functions of story. Designed to be an open R&D space that experiments with shifts in authorship and ownership of stories, the massive collaboration also uses a detective narrative to examine the policy and ethical issues surrounding the Internet of Things.
I am also visiting lecturer for MA Screenwriting students at Napier Universities Screen Academy Scotland. Featuring the Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of things I taught design workshops to introduce the students to ways to tackle creative challenges by harnessing storytelling, interactive play, designing thinking to spark a collective imagination.
You can visit my website to see my portfolio at www.gillwhite.com
Q That’s interesting, thanks. We saw you in Wigtown during the Book Festival last year and you are here again for Spring Fling, but where are you usually based? And what are you up to the remainder of the year?
I am based in Edinburgh but I have projects all over the UK.
Recent film commissions include for Creative Stirling, with Stirling Development Agency and Stirling Council is part of co-created Augmented Reality public artwork for the new Seaforth Place building which will be launched in September. The new artwork will use integrated augmented reality (AR) technology and in featuring content made by artists working with the local community. As part of a public engagement strategy to celebrate local heroes. I am currently filming a series of short documentaries about the schools pioneering Daily Mile scheme which aims to ensure all of its pupils walk or run a mile every day. It has been a joy to film the pupils and teachers they are so happy and energetic!
I am an Engagement Artist for Edinburgh Festival and Kings Theatre Edinburgh. I deliver workshops in multiple settings, supporting the participation work at both the Kings and Festival Theatres and outreach in schools and communities, in and around Edinburgh. After Spring Fling I will be back working with a wonderful group of pupils at Braidburn School to create a fun comedy stop frame animation for the Awfey Huge Variety Show at the Festival Theatre on the 22nd June.
Q. You are back in Wigtown to run the ‘Pop up Story’. Can you tell us a bit more about what that’s about?
Pop-Up Story is for people to write, draw, make and have fun through collective storytelling.
The focus of the first part of my residency at Wigtown Book Festival was celebrating a love of words, visitors and locals were my inspiration and I collated a lovely imaginative collection of stories that everyone can enjoy at Spring Fling.
For this years Spring Fling I am celebrating craft work by blending interactive design principles and storytelling. My ‘studio’ in the Supper Room (in the County Buildings in Wigtown) will feature new interactive, craft, books and print work.
I ‘m really looking forward to being back in wonderful Wigtown for Spring Fling as I had lots of fun meeting everyone at Wigtown Book Festival.
Q. It’s a workshop experience?
It is like a 3 day art event that you can dip in and out of, take part in or just come and relax and enjoy seeing what folk have made.
I’m inviting everyone to come and experience a spring smorgasbord of fun interactive experiences designed for all ages. With lots to see, make and do from playing and designing with new tech to writing, drawing and reading Wigtown crafted stories, each different element is designed for everyone to have fun with creating interactive things and to come together to celebrate collective storytelling at Wigtown.
That’s great Gill, thank you. And thanks for sending me the the video at the bottom of this page, showing us what’s in store for Pop-Up Story.
Pop-Up Story is at the Supper Room, County Buildings, Wigtown, 28th-30th May
Here is a wee taster for you……
We hope to see you there…..