seeing water                                 

Exploring two places in  Wales and England 
where water becomes visible in very different ways.



nature and change

Everything changes. But for human beings some things
are constant. C
onsider the clouds, the softness of grass, the hardness of rock. Consider water.

1. Wales : Rheidol Valley and Afon Einion                                          click an image for each painting

Rivers running through glaciated valleys with 2 meters annual
; new and native
 woodland with low intensity farming
over an ancient, heavily folded Silurian sea bed.                                                 


oakwood water
DB Front 2

devil's bridge  
DHW Front 2a

I am the daughter of earth and water                                                            

furnace                                                 amlder y dyfroedd

ROWW Water On Rock Stephen Taylor

red oakwood water

click an image for each painting



SSG Front 2

salmon spawing gravel                                    


stream of living water


reservoir buzzard                             dyfroedd disglair y gaeaf  

WW Frontnew

wave in the west                                        rhyferthwy'r don

"it is difficult to come by the kind of artistic commitment
demonstrated by Taylor, with his almost eighteenth-century
desire to investigate the mysteries of nature. "

Jonathan Vickery,  Art & Architechture Journal review, 2012

 HFfront 2   

hidden fall



heaven's brink

low cloud falling

Lowcloud WEB Front2

river mist withdrawing

Retreating Mist , 5am


reservoir swallow


A base for painting above the Rheidol valley, central Wales : a 1930's wooden house called Penbwlch, which means 'head of the valley'

night furnace

NF Front

Nature corrects Mutabilitie

I well consider all that ye haue sayd,

And find that all things steadfastness doe hate
And changed be: yet being rightly wayd
They are not changed from their first estate;
But by the change their being doe dilate:
And turning to themselves at length again,
Doe work their owne perfection so by fate:
Then ouer them Change doth not rule and raigne;
But they raigne our change, and doe their states maintain.

Sir Edmund Spenser, The Fairy Queen, VII, vii, 58; pub. 1609

Sk Rsh WEB Small

spike rushes

or these paintings come from conversations with Gerald Morgan, who lives near The Rheidol. Though I often heard Welsh spoken as I grew up, I have no Welsh myself. But Gerald is a Welsh speaker and scholar.

Our method was to discuss site photos, with me trying to say something of the experience each place gave me. Then, without further interference from me, Gerald found Welsh words for what he saw.

Like many languages, Welsh evolved in contact with a particular landscape, giving it a vast store of descriptions and reactions to what can be seen there.  Our hope is that Welsh titles will give Welsh speakers an intimate way into these paintings and draw attention to the unique reality of local culture in relation to nature.

For non Welsh speakers, our hope is that by knowing just a little Welsh, you will enjoy landscape, paintings, and language a little more. There is a short gloss for each title.

For a discussion of the importance of local language to our understanding of nature, see Robert MacFarlane's recent book Landmarks.







2. England: Hale Fen

Low rainfall on an ancient sea bed of Jurrasic clay covered
with peats on drained, high intensity farmland. 


On the Norfolk/Cambridgeshire border one meter below sea level,
based in a pre-fabricated house built in the 1960's.              

Ditch 2 WEBFrnt

summer ditch


winter ditch



frost and mist