May 2024



A new studio gallery of art and books for the wild is opening on Saturday 25th May 2024. You’ll find River Wood in a beautiful 16th Century listed building in Rhayader – in the Upper Wye valley, near to the famous dams and reservoirs of the Elan and Claerwen valleys.

River Wood is the creation of artist and writer, James Roberts.

“My work is mission led: to connect people more closely to nature and wild places. Rhayader, surrounded by some of the wildest landscapes in Britain, is the perfect setting for this venue,” explains James.

James produces artwork of wild animals, including kites, curlews and hares (see below). Each image is made using drops of water and black ink, sprinkled with a pinch of salt. He then manipulates the artwork while it is wet using pens, brushes, sticks and blotting paper, to create texture and fluidity, allowing wild forms to conjure themselves. “It took me years to develop this simplest possible technique to express wildness,” says James.

Available to purchase at River Wood are James’ original paintings, limited edition prints, cards and decorative items. The gallery also offers a wide range of inspirational nature books for all ages, which includes James’ book Two Lights (£16.99, September Publishing, recently longlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje prize). For people wanting to work with images and words for the wild, James will be running creative workshops throughout the year, which will take place both at the gallery and in the local woodland and river setting.

You’ll find River Wood at The Old Swan, West Street, Rhayader, LD6 5AB (the yellow building near the crossroads – look for the swan!) Open Thursdays to Sundays. (Visit for opening hours and more details about James’ work).

Note to editors:

You are invited to visit River Wood studio gallery to meet James and to view his work and the books on offer. Each member of press who visits in May or June 2024 (the gallery officially opens on Saturday 25th May 2024, and will be open Thursdays to Saturday, 11-5pm, and Sundays, 11-3pm) will receive one A4 limited edition owl print – worth £45 – as a thank you for visiting. Please just introduce yourself to James when you arrive (or to his wife, Julia, who will regularly be at the gallery).

We have hi-res images available of James, his work and of River Wood studio gallery, so please contact me if you require any of these. James is also available for interview.

Please contact [email protected]