Severnside: an artist’s view of the River Severn

a new publication from artist Carolyn Black announces the release of Carolyn Black’s Severnside, a collection of drawings and writing.

In January 2017 Carolyn began work on a series of large-scale, panoramic, charcoal drawings of the Severn, several of which were exhibited and sold. Her most recent ‘sale’ was for a fundraiser for St. Peters Bells Appeal in Newnham, which raised £1500 (all proceeds went to the cause). While she worked in her studio on the drawings, she also wrote – fact-gathering and collating memoirs about her long relationship with the Severn. This is Severnside.

“For the purpose of this story, you must now imagine you are travelling back in time. We need to get across the river to continue our circular journey and head back towards the Old Severn Bridge, to arrive on its west bank, where we began. To save the mileage and distance of driving from Arlingham to Newnham via Gloucester, which takes an hour, I invite you to cross the Severn in your imagination. The Old Ferry used to transport people and cattle to and fro. Had the tunnel designed by engineer Robert Tipping succeeded in being built in 1812 at Bullo Fields, we could have just nipped under the riverbed between the two villages, but it wasn’t to be. Sadly, the structure flooded long before it reached the other side and was abandoned. We need to wave across the river and call the ferryman over. Don’t be embarrassed if he suddenly lifts you over his shoulder and dumps you into the flat bottom boat, he’s just trying to stop your clothes from getting wet. Look around you as we drift over, see the church above, teetering close to the edge of the cliff at Ruddle, imagine what it might have been like a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago. Enjoy the ride. Hear the bells, taste the ice-cream.”

The book is available now.

Like the drawings, the book is in a panoramic format. The retail price for this beautiful, fifty-page hard back book is £28 – come along to her talk in the Armoury Hall, Newnham, at 6.30pm on Friday 16 November – the first edition is for one hundred copies only. At the Newnham launch, Carolyn will give a short talk about her passion for the Severn and you have an opportunity to buy a signed copy for only £25. There will be a number of original drawings and prints available to buy, which will be displayed in Newnham Community Library from November 1.

Purchase a discounted book at these two book launch events:

Friday 16 November 6.30-8pm
Armoury Hall, Dean Rd, Newnham GL14 1AD Book launch and talk

Friday 14 December 6.30-8pm Brockweir & Hewelsfield Village Shop, Brockweir, Chepstow, NP16 7NW Exhibition launch in Café, including new work about the Wye & copies of Severnside: An Artist’s View Of The Severn will be available (exhibition from 5th December – not too late to order Christmas prints).