Incredible Art, Stunning Views and a Memorable Experience: The Secret Severn Art Trail

I have just had the absolute pleasure of walking the Secret Severn Art Trail and what an experience it was. With the stunning Ironbridge Gorge basking in the sun, we started at Maws Craft Centre where three new galleries were hosting 10 diverse and renowned artists and designers. We began our journey at Two for Joy, the gallery of artists Hazel McNab and Jenny Newall. This stunning gallery has only recently been renovated and it is a treat for the senses. Hazel's linocuts sit alongside the stained glass art of Jenny Newall, the delicate and striking pottery of Suki White and the unique and emotive work of Katherine Souter. The gallery has been really well curated and is a feast for the eyes. I only wish I had enough money to spend the hundreds I wanted to spend in there! 

Our next gallery in Maws belongs to Zimbabwean fine artist, Sandy Densem, who is also hosting the striking silver jewellery of Sue Chadiwck. Welcomed in to the gallery by their incredible smiles, we had a great time learning about their work. Sandy has recently started creating Indigo-Dyed fabrics which I was seeing for the first time - they are beautiful. 

The final gallery location at Maws Craft Centre was Six Seasons Gallery, which had its grand opening at the end of March, so is another new and exciting creative venture at this brilliant hub. Six Seasons Gallery is the permanent home of photographer Richard Childs and accessories designer, Penny Childs. For the Secret Severn Art Trail, they have welcomed artists Heidi Magdalen and Maggi Humphrey. Both have striking and dynamic work that sits beautifully alongside the large format photography of Richard and Penny's more delicate designs. The gallery will keep you occupied for a long time as there is so much to look at and enjoy. 

The Secret Severn Art Trail
We left Maws with a coffee in hand from the Vintage Tea Room and then took the short and pleasant walk down to the Tile Museum and Fusion to see the diverse work of incredible creatives Kirsten Hollister, Maisie Parkes, Jenny Tyler, Hazel McNab, Tim Croton, Meg Hawkins, Suki White and Richard Childs. It was incredible to see so many artists in one place and, having never been to the Tile Museum or Fusion before, I loved the location and home of these artists and designers. This was another example of a space well curated - in fact by this point we could see that each venue had its own unique personality, told a different story about the work being created in this beautiful part of the world. 
I loved seeing stunning portrait photography sitting alongside wire work sculptures, delicate watercolours alongside industrial photography. The whole feel of the spaces here were exciting and fresh. 

We then walked along the river into Ironbridge, which on any day is a pleasure, but when the sun is shining feels like a gift. This is such a beautiful part of the world. I love the fact that this trail introduces you to places you may not have discovered yet. One such was Eighty-Six'd a art cafe that champions local artists all year round, but for Secret Severn is hosting the fantastic artists Jan Parkes, Rod Sheppard and Roger Keeling. The cafe was buzzing with locals, tourists, cyclists and walkers, who were fully appreciative of the wonderful art that was surrounding them. 

After leaving Eighty-Six's we took the lovely walk through Ironbridge to the White Hart at the opposite end of the town. The pub is hosting the striking art of Vicki Norman and Bridget Ashfield. I love the fact you can see incredible art in diverse venues throughout the gorge and that doors are open to walk in and simply enjoy. 

The Secret Severn Art Trail
The final stage of this brilliant art trail takes you to Ironbridge Fine Art and Framing and finally The Green Wood Centre. Ironbridge Fine Art and Framing is hosting the diverse work of Jenny Gunning, Dave Gunning, Liz Gunning, Robin Holder and Greg Anston-Race. Apart from the joy of experiencing these artists and their incredible work, there is another art exhibition on too so you can really consume yourself in art and design and get lost for a joyous age. 

I had never been to the Greenwood Centre before and what a treat that location is! The Secret Severn has created a wonderful exhibition, Art in the Barn, which is hosting the brilliant Amanda Hillier, Fiona Jackson, Tim Croton and Maggie Cameron. Another superbly curated space, the tranquility of its surrounds feeds into it and you can easily get lost in here for an hour. Again it was brilliant to be able to take in such diverse work as jewellery, felting, industrial photography, linoprinting and fine art. A joyous place and the cafe is a pretty fabulous place to sit and reflect on the experience of the Severn Art Trail at the end. 

I know that the artists involved in Secret Severn have worked incredibly hard to pull this brilliant event off and they have succeeded in curating a very special artists experience. The Art Trail is on all weekend - don't miss it. 

For more information visit: http://secretsevern.co.uk

The Secret Severn Art Trail