donating artworks for charitable causes gives back to the artist too, in a warm fuzzy way!

img_8793Recently I donated this two-metre drawing of Newnham, where I live, as a fundraiser for the repair of the St. Peters Church bells.

I have never done this sort of thing before and decided right at the beginning that 100% of the income would go to the appeal. Like most artists, I don’t find it easy to generate income from art work alone, so I don’t have much in the way of financial resources to contribute. But I do have my art.

The picture was displayed in the High Street in the Quaker Library window and Andy Vivian, who runs the library, was a fantastic support, thanks to him, and to Cameron Dickie, who managed the sealed-bid campaign.

My delight on being told that it had achieved £1516 for the appeal was evident in my whole-body-warm-feeling, and it wasn’t just because it was a hot summers night! That sensation was doubled when the private collector who bought it told me he specifically wishes it to be hung in the cultural hub/building/whatever we manage to open in the village, in the future. Big thanks to this gentleman, not only for acquiring the drawing to support the work on the church bells, but for also showing confidence that ReNewnham will achieve it’s goal.

This ambition for the village has come about since The George Café closed recently and local people, including artists, felt lost at sea (or river). Newnham was once a thriving port, boasting many pubs, hotels, hostelries and brothels. In recent years it gained a reputation for being a creative place, with lots of artists, musicians, makers and writers living or visiting.

This year there’s a drive to bring all of that back, which is exciting. Newnham Live, run by Dave Freeman (ex-Jazz FM) sold hundreds of tickets and gave us a wide range of music to enjoy. Fairport Convention sold out – 200 people packed into the church. Riverside Rock last weekend was kindly hosted in the Mansion House and offered a perfect mix of music, picnics, dancing and a moonlit river backdrop.

All this has happened in a small quiet village in the Forest of Dean. Next step is to try and get back what we are missing and add even more too. What we have is great, but mass and density will make it even better. Join the ReNewnham Facebook group if you want to be involved and support this renaissance!

PS if you want to order a half-size print of the Newnham image I can provide with a discount. Just email me with ‘Newnham print offer’ as subject line and I can send you details.

PPS I have my latest drawing showing in farOpen Studios at Taurus near Lydney, opening this weekend. The following weekend I shall have work in the Dean heritage farOpen show too – of 360 degree prints…do come along to both….art, cakes and coffee, what’s not to like?

PPPS do support Hawkwood crowdfunding for providing artist in residencies…..I have donated 2 A4 works to the too, as I began them while I was artist in residence there last summer. All leading up to my book, in final stages!








@dartingtonhall a view from both sides – audience/participant

the last day of three


a quiet corner in the garden

blackbird nestled like a duck on grass – soaking in sunshine

birdsong, flies spinning in dappled beams

water and light

the cosmos

is here

as am I

processing my thoughts

they float through my mind

this writing is not the thing

but merely the reflection

deep below the surface things are stirring

what has been seen

been heard

been felt

will take weeks to assimilate

to saturate my work

soothe my aching brain

sink in





Liquidscapes at Dartington – performing [gulp] both sides of the Severn

Today is a little nerve-wracking for me, as I’m off to a conference, Liquidscapes, at Dartington. This is not, in itself, unusual, as I attend many conferences. I talk at them, chair discussions or engage as audience. But this is a first – I am performing [gulp].

Most people are aware of my passion for the River Severn. I’ve drawn it photographed it, written about it. Several years ago I did a project with Suze Adams whereby we met opposite sides of the river and photographed the bore as it passed between us.

Over recent weeks this action has been repeated, but this time meeting Carol Laidler, with a very clear agenda.We set ourselves a number of tasks and met at three pinchpoints – Aust/Beachley; Sharpness/Lydney Harbour and finally Upper Framilode/Rodley.

It was fascinating to do. We wrote independently, took photos, then collaborated to bring it together as a conversation – sometimes in parallel, other times converging.

Whether it will be fascinating to see us perform is yet to be seen.

Do let me know!

bridge 16b concrete mud swirljpg




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

Many Thanks


The George Cafe [was] a wonderful venue near the Severn





The blogpost in italics below was created nearly a year ago. It heralded my first exhibition of the panoramic riverscape charcoal drawings, depicting both sides of the Severn. The opening night was shared with a farOpen exhibition, set up by a group of forest-based artists. It was a lovely evening both weather-wise and celebration-wise. Apparently we attracted more people at the private view than ever before. The George was the perfect venue for this – a summers evening, the courtyard garden looking lovely, the friendly staff making it special, crowded with people chattering.

farOpen had blossomed from a start-up group of around fifteen artists wishing to deliver open studio events. It has grown to over seventy members and the farOpen Studios runs Saturday 7 July until Sunday 15 July this year. 

My own practice had established itself again, after a long gap of non-making. All was well.

The George closed only last week, less than  a year later.

In the whole of the forest there are very few gallery outlets, Taurus and The George, both Camphill Trust venues, were the main/only ones along the Severnside area, where artists could exhibit and sell art.

This isn’t just a loss to the art sector, it is a loss to the local community. The George hosted many groups, local residents of all ages popped in and out for coffee and cakes. The majority of the food was made within the Camphill Trust and many items on the menu were locally sourced. People held meetings there, The George choir was born there. There were once art classes upstairs, performances, talks, music (there was a baby grand upstairs). The residents of The Grange and Oaklands worked in the cafe and were always charming and good company. They in turn enjoyed interactions with the public and families. There was a weavery, a room bulging with huge looms and baskets of hand died wools.

Later, the upstairs room was given over to exhibition space, after the wonderful bookstore was removed (it was downstairs in a dedicated space ten years ago, then moved upstairs only to be, eventually, dismantled)

The opening hours gradually reduced. The staff were always lovely.

There are many reasons for its closure and this blogpost is here to celebrate what it was, and how much it is already missed, not critique its viability.  There are still some fantastic shops and businesses here (I shan’t refer to each one as the list is long), but no other cafes, bar the Armoury Hall coffee mornings, which are a weekly delight. Hopefully the ethos of social enterprise will help to keep safe the thriving village that we know and love.

There are many people who would like to see something similar to The George in its place, only time will tell if this is possible. 

Meanwhile, support the village, keep coming and enjoying what is here, and consider whether you are prepared to put in some work to help it flourish again.  If you are, join the ReNewnham Facebook Group and be part of that conversation.

p.s. If you want to see more of my art, including 360 degree works, go here

June 2017

Here are a few photos of the drawings in situ. It is important to me that these works are shown on both sides of the river. If you have any suggestions about where they could be hung, or wish to host one or more, get in touch. Ideally they need to be seen near one of the places depicted. 

For example, a very kind friend who lives on the Sharpness Canal at Purton has offered to host a pop-up in her home. We’re aiming for the August Bank Holiday weekend, so do note that in your diary. Details to follow. 

I’ve always created work and produced projects in non-gallery locations, so am keen to use unusual locations as well as walls!

There’s two weeks left in The George. Here’re are a few pics of them there.

drawing classes, social enterprise learning & demobilisation!

I haven’t written a post for a while as I’ve been otherwise distracted, for many reasons. Sometimes life takes a few twists and turns and it takes a while to assimilate direction. Demobilised by lack of car and having been ill, I’ve had lots of thinking time!

January 2017 saw me taking up drawing again and resulted in many exhibitions, some sales and much happiness. The River Severn research took me back in time and made me consider the future too – the drawings and musings about that will eventually come out later in the form of a book.

My renewed pleasure from drawing has now become viral and spreading to others. A few people asked me if I would consider leading drawing workshops (or looking classes, which is a more accurate description), mostly using charcoal. Several workshops later, they are gaining momentum and keeping me on the ball too, encouraging me to stay with my creative practice, as well as sustain my work as a producer.  So my art practice and my producer practice are acting like river banks, and I and I flow between them…………

Last year a lot of thinking time and meetings was taken up with Creative Canopy,* which has gone quiet for a while while it gains momentum again – I look forward to the next wave of action with that.

The village in which I live is undergoing some rather depressing changes as austerity and general decline in economy results in many closures of shops and businesses. So I am looking into the formation of Social Enterprises. Create Gloucestershire hosted an excellent event last week about them at the wonderful Gloucester Services . They have an excellent social enterprise ethos to consider, which will prove to be very helpful. These models can be used both in the creative art sector and beyond. Here’s a little pic I took during Ruth Davey’s presentation about Look Again.

Photo 19-04-2018, 11 01 58

I’m working with some very interesting artists too, working up projects that both relate to the Severn (no surprises there then!). As someone who has spent my life commissioning works in different places from diverse artists, I have come full circle, returning to my own practice and, literally, turning full circle in front of a 360 degree camera as part of my inquiry into romantic landscape history. You can see more on my Instagram account, where they get a huge amount of positive comments.

the hub at the centre of everything I do is


See several ‘walking in circles’ videos on my youtube channel.

Here is a word cloud of the feedback I got from people on Saturday, it’s a good feeling to start the week with.

21042018 WordItOut-word-cloud-2959678

And if you don’t believe them, come and see for yourself! Prices going up next term….grab one while you can….

one-day workshops may june


*A group for sharing and discussing a vision for arts and culture in the Forest of Dean in response to Arts Council England’s designation of the District as a ‘Priority Place’.