Making My Severn

Find out more about the My Severn project below.

Conscious and considered

Over the course of four weeks we learnt the art of mindful photography, guided by expert Ruth Davey from Look Again.
The outcome of the project was for all 22 participants to benefit from learning photography skills whilst participating in mindful engagement with the River Severn and the stories and collections in the National Waterways Museum, Gloucester.

We got much more than we bargained for. It wasn’t just about learning how to take good photographs. There were many other benefits. Participants used their experience to develop and select photographs for this online exhibition and for exhibitions at Gloucester, Stroud and Stonehouse Railway Stations. Participants also developed other responses to their experience by writing blog posts, poems and quotes.

“There’s detail that you find everywhere. You can see the small scale and you can see the bigger picture without feeling overwhelmed.”

“In wide open spaces… you can lose yourself in a good way, in your environment… can be good for your mental health, you can really start to look at things in a different way.”

The My Severn project was provided as part of Unlocking The Severn funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and EU LIFE Programme. It was delivered in partnership with the National Waterways Museum, Gloucester and Look Again who ran workshops on mindful photography. Participants were referred into the project through arts and health charity Artlift, Gloucestershire Action for Refugee and Asylum Seekers, The Nelson Trust, Gloucestershire Rural Community Council, relationships with the Gloucester Muslim community, and the Severn and Wye Recovery College.

“We found that whatever our cultural background, faith, age, or health ‘My Severn’ united us in our common humanity through the story of Water. It was a very moving and powerful experience for us all and one that we want to share widely through this exhibition, at this time of increasing polarisation and divisiveness.” Ruth Davey, Look Again


Disclaimer: Please do not use the images in the online gallery without express permission.  If you’d like to use any of the images please get in touch with [email protected] and we’ll contact the photographers.

Explore the My Severn gallery by clicking the themes below.



Human Impact




My Severn – In Focus

Inspired by her experience on the My Severn mindfulness photography course, Julie wrote a poem.

You can read the poem in full, as well as background to one of Julie’s photographs, ‘Migration’, HERE

“The Artisan” by Julie Dunkley | PhotosLook Again

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