Sunday, 7 November 2010

New Poem by David Wilders


The River Aire at Castleford

The environment, the elements, the shaping

The landscape, the life, the flora, the fauna, the valley

The man, the hunt, the forage, the fishing

The living, the family, the field, the growing,

the plough, the orchard

The farm

The crystal Aire, the homestead, the boundary

The invasion, the vicus, the fort

The track, the path, the ford, the crossing, the bridge

The connecting, the vessel, the voyage,

The journey, the transport, the trade,

The waterway, the canal, the cut, the lock,

The horse, the tow path, the rope, the Billy boys

The Aire and Calder Navigation

The Lord, the tycoon, the industrialist, the influx

The expansion, the extracting, the excavating,

The mining, the quarrying, the commerce,

The growth, the wealth, the town

The port, the anchorage, the sailors, the captains

the timber, the yard, the saw mill,

The dock,

The boat builder, the sail maker,

The nail maker, the rope maker,

The blacksmith,

The sloop, the keel, the barge,

The launch, the Miranda, the Lazy days

The Miller, the corn, the wheat, the oil,

The flow, the power,

The waterwheel, the grist,

The dust, the flour, the bagging, the loading,

The barge, the exportThe weir, the flowing, the speed, the foul, the debris The stink, the death, the absence, the chemicals,

The agitation, the stains, the foam

The Whitewood, the floods, the alluvium, the Mere The quarrying, the mixing, the slip, the blungers,

The press, the clay, the thrower, the wheel, the pot,

The stoneware, the blackware, the decorator,

The glost, the bottle kiln, the fire holes, the coal,

The heat, the sweat, the smoke, the chimneys,

The potteries

The layers, the clay, the shale,

The explosion, the scraping the raping,

The ginny, the mix, the press, the drying,

The wicket hole, the stacking, the fueling, the heat,

The baking, the kiln, the brick

The Redhill, the sand, the quarry, the tunnels, the track, the furnace, the heat, the crucible,

The molten, the blow pipe, the blowing, the rotating The swinging, the shape, the casting,

The brown, the green, the bottle

The chemist, the dyes, the pigments

The acids, the alkali, the Phosgene,

The hydrochloride, the mixing, the pharmaceutical

The hazard, the vapor, the stink, the tanks, the plant, The chimneys, the danger, the explosion, the death, The sadness

The shaft, the seams,

The Beeston, the Flockton, the darkness, the heat,

The dust, the stench, the coal face, the shovel, the strife, the hewing, the miner,

The danger, the conveying,

The cleaning, the basin, the tom pudding,

The transporting, the energy.

The environment, the management, the cleaning,

The detox, the conservation, the return, the life,

The otter, the kingfisher, the heron, the swan,

The salmon, the leaping, the pass, the fisherman,

The bridge, the rebirth, the ownership

David Wilders

September 2010

Event on Sunday, 7.November 2010


MEETING Sunday 7 November 1.30pm – as long as you want.
Place: Bridge Arts Gallery, Sagar Street, Castleford, WF10 1AF

You have not heard the last of the Riversmovement or the Free University. We have already committed ourselves to a new programme events and to a meeting at which we expand the programme. This will give an opportunity to bring new work or ideas.

The date of the meeting in Castleford, Bridge Arts, Sagar Street WF10 1AF is Sunday 7 November at 1.30pm

We will be providing something to eat. Quality bread and homemade cake for pudding makes up the menu. Bring your own drink. Pay a bit if you want.We don’t see this as a talk shop. If weather permits we will walk in the afternoon or stay back and do a workshop or two.

Bob is off on holiday but will have photographed all work for the book. This is when you pick up your framed work or if you don’t want the frame the work itself. We don’t have the time to post back work.

Current and future programme.

At present we are committed to:

1. Writing and publishing several books all of which are started

Rivers Movement Artists

70 Reasons Why I Love The Earth

Mrs Pyrah

Monsal Trail

2. Developing a new programme in Castleford and the Five Towns area and are looking for new venues for the current 70 reason exhibition

3. Working on David Wilders Poem as a replacement for Adam Ghodiwala’s 70 Reasons poem

We are inviting you to contribute 1 of 50 new images relating to David’s attached poem

Mary and Geoffrey King’s composition for cello and voice

Reinhold Behringer’s computer composition

4. Obviously the programme needs to expand. A group are going to India in January to strengthen the artistic links but prior to that we may try to find a new venue to display the completed 70 reasons and new works created.

5. The final exhibition was a great success. The Bridge (Our first commissioned play) was a great success. We are also looking for venues for the Bridge, the Aire music/voice compositions and creative writing and reading performances.

We are also hoping after the publication of the Monsal trial book to have at least one other walking/talking and publishing projects.


Rachel, Amanda and Brian

Monday, 13 September 2010

Castleford Exhibition Update

It is important to realise that the Free Univ***** of Castleford on Aire will only move forward if people come to events. The problem of having a free university is the deep seated belief that if a thing is free it is worthless. This is not the case but it gets proven if no one comes in support of the programme.


In week one the main area of concentration was painting, craftwork this week, although the there are some painting and craft sessions we have a book publication, a poetry recital and several creative writing seesion.

Friday is a key day for writing but we are also with a major workshop making bee houses on Saturday 10.15 at Bridge Arts. There is a lot of interest in this workshop.


Outreach workshop for writers and painters
Led by Rosie Gilligan and Liz Salter
Friday 17 September at 10-30am to 3.00pm
Maximum Number 16
Book places before hand. Adults over 16years

The Washing Place by Rosie Gilligan and a Life with Poetry Adam Ghodiwala
Book Launch and poetry recital
Friday 17 September at 6.30pm
Lee Gascoyne – The Exhibition
The Washing Place – A rehearsed reading Rosie Gilligan and Liz Salters
Guest poet – Siamak Foroutan introduced by Brian Lewis
A Life with Poetry Adam Ghodiwala introduced by Brian Lewis
All welcome. Books on Sale in Bohemian Books, Sagar Street

New Approahes To Self Publishing
Led by Bridget Kenningham and Brian Lewis
Friday 17 September 1.30 pm to 3.30am

Book of the Exhibition

Rachel Knowles is still collecting artist's statements for the Book which is produced by the Rivers Movement about the art works, created through out the six weeks.

Mrs Pyrah - A Castleford School Teacher

Wednesday 15 September 6.30 - 8.30pm Reunion of people who knew Mrs Pyrah and a showing of the film made about her school - Brian Lewis, Alison Drake and David Wilders
Tuesday 5 October Outreach session for writers and painters. A day walking along the river and experimenting with different drawing techniques and discussing the teaching practises of Mrs Pryah - Led by Brian Lewis
Thursday 14 October Book in an evening – Memories of a controversial school teacher Professor Mary King, David Wilders and Brian Lewis
Curator – Brian Lewis



David Wilders: River Aire - From its Source to Castleford

Poem by David Wilders

Malham Tarn, North Craven Fault, Aire Head Springs

The storm, the might, the rain
The deluge, the sodden, the saturation

The overspill, the energy, the flow, the movement, the descent, the rivulet, the brook, the creek
The birth, the source, the origin

The erosion, the gnawing, the earth, the sand, the loam, the gravel

The movement, the direction, the cutting
The raging, the meandering, the twisting

The by-pass, the oxbow, the flora, the fauna
The quickening, the widening, the banks
The scraping, the valley

The hue, the colour, the debris
The slowing, the deposits, the silts
The clays, the alluvium
The sediment, the planes, the flood, the Ings

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Update on the First Week of the "Free Univ*** of Castleford"

This is a brief up date on the first week of the Free Univ****** of Castleford on Aire

The opening was a spectacular success. We think that +70 people attended and by the end of the evening 50 were committed to sending in original works of art for the 70 Reasons exhibition. We have now 20 framed or on the walls and 40 promised by the deadline 1 October. Lee and David painted for three days and created (and recorded) two very original canvases. The first print workshop was full (Wednesday)and two books of prints have already been begun.

Initiatives are taken up and because there is no very obvious major censorship structure works of great originality appear within a day. It took Rachel Knowles a about six hours to compile and print in colour on a variety of printers the book of artist's statements which was distributed at the First Exhibition launch. This proto book will be developed in the next six weeks by an extended team.

All through the week we have seen people coming forward with interesting ideas. A very beautiful hanging is being made by Janice and Ann Rounds and a group of local women. This will stretch the length of the gallery. This work is a wonderful example of the Univ****** being joined by an existing group of local people. The support we have received from John Cowan the picture framer and Amanda Williams from next door (Bookings and Publishing) has been more than helpful. Thanks also have to go to the Castleford Heritage team May R, Lorna Malkin, Alison Drake and the rest of the Heritage board.

In the window we have a Bust of Barbara Hepworth by the Castleford ceramicist John Hawkins and this is attracting a lot of attention. Several paintings have already been sold. Hopefully Harry Malkin's Castleford Lasses will be bought by the Council/ At £5000 it is a snip.

Bob Clayden is anxious to point out that the Bee Homes are not simple boxes but art works which will be buried on the other side of the river, The initial session where we experimented with several types of clay produced very interesting prototypes. Next Saturday more people have promised to attend but there are places.

Today (Saturday) we received an offer from a published Iranian poet to read his poems in praise of the earth. We expect to extend the creative writing programme in the next couple of weeks as the publishing information programme takes shape.

If our budget is £350 we are creating a quality exhibition for 100,000th of the cost of building the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield. Not bad. Our success is a product of our knowledge of local networks, our use of local people and our avoidance of committees.


Brian Lewis (Pontefract Press) and Amanda Williams (Bohemian Books- Sagar Street, Castleford ,01977 556741)

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Travelling to India - First Try

We had booked our travel to Gujarat for the 15.April. In the morning we heard on radio and saw on TV the reports about the volcano in Iceland which brought ash into the atmosphere - and we saw that flights were cancelled. Also our flight was cancelled, but when calling the airline, they told us that they would notify us later about what was going to happen. We took a chance and travelled to the airport anyway.

The airport was relatively empty. It appeared that many people had already stayed at home. Emirates distributed a flyer in which the situation was explained. We called, and were able to rebook for Tuesday, 20.April.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Second Book about the Rivers Movement

On 23.March 2010 we published the second book about the Rivers' Movement. Have a look:

Monday, 8 March 2010

Article in the "STAR"

Please find here a link to the article (and the video) which appeared in the Star (Sheffield) on 8.March 2010.

The same article with video is also in the Sheffield Telegraph and in the Lancashire Evening Post.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Book: The Rivers Movement

On Friday, 26.February, the month of our activities in Barnsley came to a close with the launch of a book:

The Rivers Movement
Painters, Print Makers and Photographers
by Brian Lewis and Bob Claydon

This book contains artwork and photographs from artists in the Rivers Movement Collective. The book is available for purchase through

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Newspaper Article in Yorkshire Post

Here is a link to an article in the Yorkshire Post from 2.February 2010.

73 paintings (to be) created by a 73 year old man in 24 hours

This is a press release by Brian Lewis

What a differnce a day makes – an Arts' Day in Barnsley focusing on Climate Change and the environment.

Tuesday 23 February, from 11:00

Contact: Brian Lewis 01977 793121
Mobile: 07904026239
Pontefract Press


Emergence Pod 1,
Mayday Green,
The Precinct,

On Tuesday 23 February a steadily expanding group of artists who form part of The Rivers' Movement will be undertaking a gathering called a moot to produce art works. The number that each produces is governed by age. Brian Lewis (aged 73): 'I will create 73 paintings and drawings in a day, I am taking as my theme sustainability, climate change and the environment. Last time I tried it a similar task I was 70. That time the subject was the the Dales and the River Aire. I managed 65 in the 24 hours.' (comment RB: after 65 a person is allowed to retire)

'The 73 paintings in 24 hours event will take place on Tuesday 23 February in Barnsley in a town centre shop closed because of the recession and now a new gallery called Emergence Pod One. It is in May Day Green, in the centre of town. This time I will be working with other artists in order to fuel the debate on Climate Change.'

'Throughout our lives we generate a carbon footprint. No matter how old or how young we are, we can all make a difference to improve our environment and do something today.'

'On the day I will be joined by colleagues who will also be linking age to output. At the moment my collaborators include: Rob Hindle, published poet and WEA co-ordinator for South Yorkshire. Aged 46 he will create 46 poems on the subject. Reinhold Behringer, Professor of Creative Technology at Leeds Met, also 46, will produce 46 live improvisations on 46 different instruments using a computer controlled synthesiser and samplers. Helen Mesezaros, aged 42 (a teacher and community activist) will compile 42 letters of complaint; John Cowan,(50) a local picture framer incensed by the flood of Chinese frames into UK will frame 50 paintings and put them on sale next day. Yvonne Denton (40) = 40 pieces about breaking the chain of consumerism; Richard Kitson, 28, folk and blues singer, will invite 28 people to sit for him and then he will draw them. The John Cowan initiative is pertinent because he is competing when he makes frames with a mass production Chinese product which floods the market squares of the Uk. Bringing them will be costly if measured in Carbon miles. Adam Ghodiwala, the well known Gujarati poet resident in Bolton, will send 70 one line metrical poems giving 70 reasons to love the earth. These in Gujarati with an English translation. He is a class act, very well known in India, and gives us even more prestigue. Jack Aston-Booth, a painter with academic qualifications on the problems of climate on migration birds will produce drawings of 23 Birds affected by Climate Change.'

'Unlike in Gujarat, Falguni Bharateeya and Mitali Baxi have collected a body of work which they will transmit to us in Yorkshire. Throughout the day other artists will drop in just to work on one of their own painting. There is no need to go in for mass production. Quality also matters.'

'This day is part of an arts workshops programme organised by the Barnsley based River Dearne Project which focuses on environment and climate change. This is a follow-on project by others in the Rivers Movement who are anxious to use the arts and creativity to encourage thought about what happens when our social systems and economic values show less respect for nature than they might have done.

The Rivers' Movement

The Rivers' Movement aims to create awareness of climate change by means of art, poetry, science, and technology. It is a collaborative project involving Yorkshire people who have twinned with people from Gujarat in India. Together they explore common experiences involving the impact local rivers and climate change has on their lives. In May 2009 The Rivers' Movement received an award from the Environment Agency for Best Climate Change Project in the Yorkshire Region 2009. Their work currently focuses on the rivers Dearne, Aire and Calder but they expect to expand their operations in the UK and India as the year progresses.

Brian Lewis

Brian Lewis has paintings in public and private collections all over the UK. He has had exhibitions at the Ferens (Hull), the Graves and the Mappin (Sheffield), the Piece Hall and Dean Clough (Halifax) - all city or major town galleries, but he prefers community venues. He is also known for his writing on community development. He won the national Raymond Williams prize in 1997 for a book about a woman's prison. He was Birmingham's first Poet Laureate and is currently Visiting Fellow in Community Writing and publishing to the Charutar Vidyamandal University in India. With his wife he runs Pontefract Press.

This is part of a month-long exhibition and arts-workshop programme organised by River Dearne Project Barnsley painters: Loretta Cusworth, Runima Kakoty, Roger Head and Lee Gascoyne.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Letter Five from Brian

12 January A good day. I started to work on the Carbon Roll. I find that you can only work out something as complicated as that if you set up the basic model and get stuck in. The designs have to be very small (1.5 inch x 2.5) and as a consequence you need to have the right drawing materials. These however can be pretty basic. Loretta, who worked with me, went into the market and brought a collection of cheap pens and we were away.

Two new people have joined up with me on the Agist Art programme. Adam Ghodiwala, the well known Gujarati poet will send 70 one line metrical poems giving 70 reasons to love the earth. These in Gujarati with an English translation. He is a class act and gives us even more prestigue. In the morning a youngman came in and spoke of his interests. Called Jack Aston-Booth he will produce drawings of 23 Birds affected by Climate Change. Yvonne Denton also has a plan to do 40 statement about 'sustainability and link them in a 'hanging. She has a lot of commitments but it is the idea which counts. As I explained to others there is no need to go in for mass production. Quality also matters.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Letter Four from Brian

My training for the 73 Paintings in 24 hours has taken a back step because I have needed to divert energy into publicity and paid work in Bolton. I am still drawing on buses and and trains. This is useful because I know that I will have to start the 23 February running and to have a scrap-book of ideas is useful. From Stalybridge to Leeds I sat side on to a woman in a full burka. She was looking out of the window of the train. She blacks and browns and the background coloured. The scene through the window was beautiful I may trace her in an change the scene three times to fit an Ikea Frame. This will be the subject for a dummy run. I may cut her as a mount.

Suddenly 73 pictures seem a lots of pictures.

I am also concentrating on getting artistic people to the Pod who are also doing an age-on-hours stint. A the moment my collaborators include; Rob Hindle, published poet aged 46, will create 46 poems. Reinhold Behringer, the Professor of Creative Technology also 46, will create a 46 bar piece of music using a computer controlled synthesiser and samplers. Helen Mesezaros, aged 42 (a teacher and community activist) will be compile 42 letters of complaint, John Cowan,(50) a local picture framer incensed by the flood of Chinese frames into UK will frame 50 paintings and have some on sale next day. The yougest member of the group, - Richard Kitson 28 - will invite people to sit for him and draw them. The John Cowan initiative is pertinent because he is competing when he makes frames with a mass production Chinese product which floods the market squares of the Uk. Bringing them will be costly if measured in Carbon miles.


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Letter Three from Brian

I started a new project today . It is paid work. I am working with Old People and Top Primary in Bolton, Lancashire on a project where the young teach the old about texting and electronic communication and the old teach the young about written communication. I am going in as an actor and calling myself Old Man (OM). I dont think that any of the ream saw the Hindu reference. This amused me. I have to follow the agenda prescribed by the Client - Bolton at Home (A housing association with a high regard for the arts as communication tool and therefore when we get going on the pilot I expect to take as my subject Climate and Environment.

Another day passes without much time for training. However i did manage to watch an interview between Nigel Lawson ( no belief) and Am expert (total belief) and jotted down phrases which i might use as the inspiration for pictures. These included:

The Heat from Cities
No time on our side
Sceptics should be welcomed
Dissenting scientists.

On the top of the bus back from Leeds I drew with a figure which is a landscape when viewed horizontally and a figure when looked at vertically. I will have several of these on the go on the 24 Hours Day. Drawing on the top deck of a bus is not easy. The Japanese brushes are such a joy to work with but the rocking of the bus sends the strokes all over the place


Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Letter Two from Brian

Dear Reinhold

The mounting of the exhibition has taken a lot of time and to make matters complicated I was in a car crash and they had to extract me through the roof of the Toyota on a board having sawn off the roof. However I have had a coupe of nights drawing on scrap paper with a pencil.

I now know that there will be a negative sequence and a positive one. The negative sequence will be dominated by black and a hint of red. This will be applied using print blocks cut rubber erasers and Chinese red 'stamp' paste. The positive by a Blue and Green range. This will be applied quickly in a random fashion to a series of 6" X 8" cards . I will start with 10 negative and 10 positive. That make-up is about 28% of the output required.

The difficult of working on a 24 project is that you also need a couple of bigger paintings on the go, ones which you can can look and think about when you are doing tedious tasks. You stand to paint these. It is a military style. From the beginning - in the fist hour you have to have about ten works started. You rarely complete a work straight through.

What I should have at the end of the 24 hours is a lot of ideas and some finished and some unfinished drawings/Paintings.

Thrive Brian

Monday, 1 February 2010

Setup of Expo in Barnsley

Today I met with Lee in the Barnsley Emergency Pod 1 to set up his video installation "Silence". This installation plays back a video recording of his creation of an artwork. I wrote software for automatic manipulation of that replay through a camera: when the audience in the expo room moves, the video replay gets disturbed. The demo appeared to work ok, although a few things still needed to be sorted out.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Letter from Brian

Dear R

Last night as i was watching 'Silent Witness' i took a clip board and some scrap paper and started to draw 'scribble compositions'.(More Later) From the last time I did this exercise I know that you must come with some notes because you cannot run for that length of time and think as well. Some of the compositions have to be thought through because mental exhaustion kicks in quickly. This level of planning is vital.

The First Diagram in David McKay's 'Sustainable Development Without the Hot Air' shows in Kw per person per day where in the way we live the carbon pollutants seem to originate. The Second 'stack' diagram shows what we can do to reverse the trend. I decided that the negative stack would eventually be in the 'Black Colour range relieved by red - useful because I have a strength when it comes to drawing in ink - and defensive response in the blue,green white range.

I took the fact that each of us uses 4 Kw/d/p on Defence. This is an easy subject because I can work on figures and ideas of distortion. 4 will figure in the composition and there will be room for a quote. Someone on the tv quoted Robert Oppenheimer on Sin and Physics. From there I began to think about size and thought that I might use the dimensions of the mounts in the Three in One Ikea frames. Through I will need some bigger images just because I will need exercise. Small points but essential.

Already the practical and the cerebral are beginning to mix,