THE Shed may be resting in winter hibernation, or possibly even a deeper freeze, but Ryedale arts mover and shaker Simon Thackray is launching a new arts venue and tourist attraction that is more muck than brass.

“Welcome to The Sewer,” says Brawby resident Simon. “It’s going to be a conduit and channel for the collaborative arts, utilising the scenic and sonic backdrop of Yorkshire Water’s Sewage Treatment Works in the tiny village of Brawby to present a multifaceted series of improvised art events to a world-wide audience.

“The Sewer will be overflowing with music, films and artistic interventions, backed up by contributions from award-winning comedian Stewart Lee, and internationally renowned musicians Billy Jenkins, Matthew Bourne, Oren Marshall, Dylan Bates, Alan Tomlinson, Kit Downes and Mark Sanders, who have all played The Shed.”

The Sewer also heralds the launch of a new art movement, The Discharge Painters, namely artists Colin Challen, Peter Coates and Thackray himself, who will paint new “discharge paintings” in a live art event, using Environment Agency-consented discharge from the Yorkshire Water sewer outfall gutter in Brawby.

These effluent paintings, rather than paintings for the affluent, will be shown at Rye Valley Works in Brawby and then toured throughout Yorkshire – possibly timed to coincide with Le Grand Depart pour le Tour de France.

The Sewer will flow downstream from the River Seven to the Rye to the Derwent to emerge in the Palace Cinema, Malton for a special screening of Undertaker Of Sewers, a documentary about novelist William S. Burroughs and father of the Beat generation.

At the heart of all this mucky business is the contentious and indeed contested issue of pollution in Brawby’s sewer network, an issue with plenty of sides to it, but one that has prompted Simon Thackray to get off his arts in the cause of research, clarity of information and responsibility.

Dates are to be confirmed online for various activities mentioned above, but the inaugural event definitely takes place on Tuesday, November 12 at 9.35am at the Yorkshire Water sewer discharge gutter in Brawby, where Thackray presents Up To Hilt, Alan Tomlinson’s improvised trombone sewer solo.

Tomlinson is no stranger to answering Thackray’s call to the wilder side of the arts, having blown his own trombone on the Fish and Chip Van Tour’s weekday travels around Ryedale villages – as seen by 1.9 million viewers on the Richard And Judy Show – and pulled on his waders to perform a duet with the River Seven’s babbling waters at Rosedale one Sunday morning.

“The Danny DeVito of free improvisation and inimitable master trombonist, Alan Tomlinson, will be ‘up to the hilt’ in the mire of Environment Agency consented discharge from Brawby’s Yorkshire Water sewer for 20 minutes in this free event, so do come along ,” says Simon.

“Audience filming, photography, and sharing of video and photos on the web and social media sites is actively encouraged too, and please note, attendance at the sewer event is entirely at your own risk. Wellies are recommended.”

Tomlinson’s sewer solo, by the way, is timed to coincide with the precise date and time of the speech to be be given by Richard Flint, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Water, at the Water 2013 conference at the Hilton Hotel, London.

All the events in The Sewer will be free but donations can be made to WaterAid. Visit The Sewer website at for more information; check out the What's On page for event dates and times.