Outrider is a series of Herefordshire Council & Salt road artists’ commissions exploring the Alfred Watkins archive of bee-books, pamphlets and photographs housed in Hereford Library.

The exhibition has been curated by Dr Sally Payen from an open submission process and managed by Salt road in collaboration with Hereford Library and Museum Services.

The artists include Cath Keay, Megan Powell, Ron Haselden, Jane Tudge, Jaime Jackson, Elisabeth Bond, Anneka French, Becca Harris and Sally Payen. Outrider has been funded by an ACE Library Fund with support from the Elmley Foundation and Herefordshire Council and is touring to The Woolhope Room Hereford, the Commandery Worcester, Winterbourne House and Gardens Birmingham, Haden Hill House Museum Sandwell, and Leominster and Ross Libraries in Herefordshire.

Alfred Watkins (1855-1935) lived in Hereford and originated the idea of ley lines, he formed a postal club to test-bed his theories and wrote The Old Straight Track in 1925. He was also well known as a populariser of photography, drawn out of his own photographic processes and experiments, he invented and successfully marketed photographic aids like the bee meter. He was also a passionate bee keeper and toured the county giving magic lantern presentations in a bee van. Waktins was a true innovator and his open and enquiring mind is the inspirational
basis for this exhibition.

This archive was bequeathed to Hereford library in 1935, on Alfred’s death and so the bee books sat in the underbelly of the library until April 2013 when a chance conversation between the librarian Anne-Marie Dossett, also a bee-keeper and the Salt road artists revealed a glimpse into the extent of the collection and possible directions.