Illustration by Jonathan Newdick from Caught by The River
In our industrial societies, nature comes to represent the escape from the business of our lives. Caught by the River (“the antidote to indifference”) has been around a while; it’s an interesting collective of people who have come together to reflect on the luxury of taking time out in by a riverbank.
It’s a website less inspired by environmentalism than a kind of gentle refusenik-ism – something more to do with Tom Hogkinson’s and Gavin Praetor-Pinney’s The Idler than anything more strident – but it’s growing into a great online repository for new ways of looking at the British countryside.
Co-founded music entrepreneur Jeff Barrett and including a contributor list of artists, writers, photographers and songsmiths it claims the late Roger Deakin as its patron saint. Deakin’s brilliant Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain is becoming a handbook for a kind of half-mystical, half-historic neo-Romantic approach to the world.
The site is full of gems. Last week they featured a timely reappraisal of the work of Richard Brautigan; today they start to feature a series of pieces of music influenced by birds. They begin with a song from British Sea Power called “The Great Skua (Plover demo”) which you can listen to here.
Last year they published an anthology: Caught by the River: A Collection of Words on Water.
Go to RSA Arts & Ecology