Tide turns in artistic view of river

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SCENES of a hidden gem of a river are the subject of a new exhibition.

The 20 paintings and graphite pen drawings by artist and designer Nick Matson capture gently rotting, long since abandoned boats and some of the wildlife that frequents the river Hull as it runs out of Beverley.

The once busy river, which was home to shipbuilding and plied by barges that served the town’s industry, is now left to canoeists, smaller leisure craft and abundant wildlife, like the wild geese and horses on the Swinemoor commonlands.

Mr Matson, who has painted and drawn since childhood, was inspired by the famous Beverley artist Fred Elwell who painted everyday scenes which are now part of the town’s pictorial history.

He said: “It was really to let people take time and have a look at the river that’s on their doorstep, that they might pass by and not give a second glance at. There are all these really colourful nooks and crannies that have been there for years - one of the sunken barges must have been down there for 30 years.

“People tend to have quite a negative view of the river Hull that runs through the back of Beverley - they have the idea that it is a dirty stretch of water, that isn’t too nice to look at, but it’s actually quite a fantastic stretch of river with an amazing amount of wildlife and a long history.

“What you find down there is hints of what has been there in the past, but nature has overtaken it; there are boats you can barely recognise because they are covered in moss and foliage.”

One drawing along with a limited edition canvas of the painting “Love Boat” is being raffled in aid of Dove House Hospice in Hull. Tickets cost £1 each and the raffle will be drawn on December 23. The exhibition at Creation Fine Arts on North Bar Within in Beverley is open Wednesday to Friday 10.30am to 6pm, Saturday 9.30am to 6pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm. It runs until December 30.