“Artist donates huge charcoal drawing to help save Newnham bells.” That’ll be me

“A large drawing of the River Severn by Newnham artist, Carolyn Black, is to be sold in a sealed-bid auction to raise funds for the St Peter’s Bells Restoration Appeal.  This original work of art captures the view as you stand by the cliff edge in the Newnham churchyard looking north.

Cam Dickie, who chairs the appeal, says the drawing is a remarkable achievement.  “Wide, panoramic views are notoriously difficult to capture on canvas, but I think Carolyn has found a way to meet the challenge.  Because the drawing is so wide, we have to turn our heads to take it in.  From the church on the left, our eyes follow the row of houses that sweep down Church Road to the river, then across the wide-open water to the Old Passage Inn on the opposite bank.  It really does capture the mood of the estuary at Newnham.”

One of a series of large-scale charcoal drawings that explore the Severn, the Newnham picture is the biggest by far, measuring two metres across.  It came about because of some voluntary work that Carolyn did for the bells appeal. “I offered to help set up their website and took some panoramic shots for the front page.  Visit the appeal website at www.newnhambells.wordpress.com, and you’ll discover the original shot which inspired me to undertake this drawing.  I want to support the bells appeal and donating the work feels like the right way for me to help.”

You can view Carolyn’s drawing in the window of the Quaker Library on Newnham High Street from Friday 8th June until Friday 22nd June. Bids should be placed in a sealed envelope along with your name, telephone number and email address and delivered by midnight on Friday 22nd June. Address them to Art Auction, Quaker Library, 26 High Street, Newnham, GL14 1BB.  The envelopes will be opened and the winner with the highest bid announced at the Riverside Rock concert and picnic on the evening of Saturday 23rd June. The full amount of the successful bid will go towards the bells appeal.  There will also be limited edition prints available for those whose bids are unsuccessful.

Tickets for the Riverside Rock concert, also a bell appeal fundraiser, are on sale at Newnham Post Office in the village shop. For further information contact Cam Dickie on 07886829960 or cwdickie@hotmail.com



GDPR has me going around in circles – just like my 360 degree pictures!

I’ve been going around in circles a lot lately, having returned to my own practice, as well as continuing to produce projects and collaborate with others. Doing GDPR has got me in a spin as to how to address these issues in one email newsletter. This is IT.

Flow has its own mailing list. Please forward this link to your friends and invite them to join too!

If you’d also like to know more about artworks and exhibitions by Carolyn Black, please subscribe here

As you know, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force today. We want you to know that Flow Contemporary Arts is committed to being GDPR compliant. We respect any personal data you provide us with, and we keep it safe. We have an updated Privacy Policy which explains how we gather, store and protect your data.  You can read our new Privacy Policy  here.If you are on our mailing list and want to continue receiving the occasional newsletters, updates about our activities and invitations to our events, then you don’t need to do anything. If you wish to unsubscribe now, or at any point in the future, you can do so by following the link below, or by emailing us direct at carolyn@flowprojects.org.uk

Many Thanks


words – landscape – of rocks and rivers

Sometimes the landscape enthrals me.

Over the weekend, a chilly walk down by the Severn resulted in my finding a small landslide, where the under-cliff below St Peters Church in Newnham had released a few slabs of marl and clay mudrocks down into the soggy riverbank below. Two early-18th-century accounts of the church recall how the ancient spire church standing by the Nab’s end was taken down for fear that it should fall, because the earth around its foundations was being washed away; one account says that the old materials were used to build the little church at the south end of the town. (ref)

I was fascinated by the fleshiness of the rocks, the red river clay looks like blood corpuscles, the ivy traces like veins. The cold air sliced into my lungs.


This morning I awoke in my friends house at 5am o see the red sky glowing behind May Hill. It is the 1st May, Beltane, and it intrigued me that it looked so peaceful and calm in the early morning light, whilst, on the radio, I heard that there was much merriment and orris dancing going on, as well as scrumpy drinking. Urgh, 5am drinking is not for me, far lovelier to view the stately tree cluster that sits like a bun on a hill.

Driving home at 6am the radio was ringing with many pop songs about sun and new day etc. The Beatles clinched it for me.


The Forest Bakehouse at Longhope – using Ricoh Theta S 360 camera to find a new way of telling the story

The Forest Bakehouse is a fantastic bakery in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire uk.

I asked if I could go along early in the morning, hoping to capture something about their process using my 360 camera. It was a real learning curve for me, how to be present in the space, yet discrete. Not to get in their way, to observe, while keeping them notified of where I slipped the camera, without disturbing their work rhythm. Their focus and choreography of space was wonderful. They are very experienced in negotiating the work area together, both independently and as a team. It really was like seeing a performance unravelling.

I used the tripod or placed the camera flat on surfaces. I filmed through baskets, from shelves and in cupboards. The portability of the camera is key. It is quite sensitive and is vulnerable to toppling over, if a surface moves even slightly. And then there is the issue of me. The me that dislikes being in my own photos. I often hid behind cupboards or ducked behind tables, but the damn thing is so perceptive it often caught me out. This could be a whole series of out takes to make people laugh in social media!

The one I have edited pleases me because it uses a discrete hiding place above a sink to view the intensity and speed of the baker working against the clock. She navigated the task with a real knowing and understanding of the oven, the dough and the distances between them. I enjoy the distortion of the lens, the way it frames this small area of action.

I hope you do too. I am definitely willing to do commissions like this, to capture what is special abut certain making processes.


#4 going around in circles video

Version #2 of Circular Walk

circular walk for a circular medium – 360 degrees in action