Townhall Arts Centre presents
An Solo Exhibition by William Bock
Townhall Gallery, Cavan
Thursday 23rd November until Saturday 6th January 2024
Open: 10am to 4pm (Tuesday to Friday), 11am to 4pm (Saturday)
Or by appointment
RISING is a body of work by artist William Bock encompassing a film and a family of photographic portraits created in collaboration with residents living along the Shannon Estuary. William brings this work, created at the mouth of the river, back to it’s source here in County Cavan.
For over a year the artist visited local people in County Clare who shared their experiences of living along the Shannon Estuary and the history of the river islands there. An old expression, ‘clean mud’ was spoken of which described a particular quality of silt. In the Ginanne family album he found images of generations of river islanders living closely with the river, moving cattle by boat, of island funerals or of friends crossing the river by boat all while negotiating the ever present and changing mud flats.
For the artist this relationship between the human body and river silt came to represent the accumulated heritage of communities deeply entwined with this tidal river. It spoke too of deep geological time, of the changing use of the estuary and of rising sea levels to come.
The artist worked with local people to create an experimental film. Set along the shores of the Shannon, the film features individuals and family groups totally covered in river mud. A farmer herds his cattle, an island family navigates the river by boat while a lone woman drags her suitcase through the silt. The soundscore combines field recordings of the river made by William Bock with an original sound score by Sean Macerlaine.
Documentary and dream worlds collide as a community emerges from the river bed and return to their homes. These mud-covered people stand at the confluence of the old and new generations as they navigate a changing environment that will fundamentally challenge life along our shores.
William lives and works in West Cork. His work has recently been shown in The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Ormston House Limerick, has featured on RTE One and is currently supported by Arts Council Ireland. Framed prints on show are for sale in a limited edition of 20 prints and 15% of the price goes towards a Shannon River conservation charity.