Shannonbridge Fort, 28 MAY 2022

28 MAY 2022

Shannonbridge Fort

Shannonbridge, Co. Offaly

53°16'49.3"N 8°02'53.7"W


Created by The Artfarm Collective, 2021


This is the story of the River Shiven, as it makes its way from Cloonshivna through various townlands, the villages of Newbridge, Ballinamore Bridge and Trihill to the Wildfowl Sanctuary at Muckanagh near Ballygar where it meets the River Suck. Hearing from the Catchment Officer for Co. Galway, a Blue Dot Scientist and ranger from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, this film explores many aspects of the river with the aim of highlighting environmental awareness of this beautiful river running through our landscape.

Blue Dot waters are our best quality waters. They have the highest ecological quality of all our waters and often a greater diversity of species that are sensitive to pollution. These rivers have a natural physical form that has not been changed much by human activities. High status waters very often serve as tributaries and headwaters for larger downstream water bodies. This location in the catchment means that high status headwaters have a positive effect on downstream water bodies. They can also serve as an ark where sensitive species survive during pollution events and can then recolonise the polluted water downstream when it is restored.




Sheila Flanagan of the Artfarm Collective, based in East Galway, talks to Anne and Denis about her own rural ecological art practice and introduces them to some local history relating to rivers, peat and power.



A School of Looking Workshop

Cleary and Connolly believe that learning begins with looking. Looking closely at things - for the purposes of observation and accurate documentation, or just for the simple pleasure of engaging your mind with the world - affords a deeper learning experience by fixing attention and setting up a remarkably complex and active investigation that begins with the eye and progressively engages the whole mind. The Slow Looking workshop invites you to use a range of simple viewing devices - bug boxes and magnifying glasses - to observe closely samples of biodiversity found on site, and to draw these using the materials provided, in a relaxed atmosphere conducive to conversation.

On Saturday 28 May the Eco Showboat Mayfly will dock at Shannonbridge. You are invited to join us for a wonderful afternoon of art, music, conversation and workshop across the bridge at Shannonbridge Fort.




"Earthman Bob" - an artistic avatar of artist Robert Fitzgerald - is a poet-astronaut performing a spoken word piece inspired by "the overview effect", a term used to describe the cognitive shift that astronauts experience when they see the world from outer space.

Photographer Kevin O'Dwyer looks at landscape and history around the Pilgrims Road to the monastic site of Clonmacnoise; we screen a recently completed film documenting the River Shiven, one of Ireland's Blue Dot, high status rivers and host a performance by ‘Earthman Bob’. Sound artists Mick O'Shea and Irene Murphy propose an immersive sonic experience where the audience becomes part of a sonic ecosystem.



Waterside conversation in the Pangolin Pavilion with photographer Kevin O’Dwyer

Photographer Kevin O'Dwyer talks about his work Sacred Places which follows the Pilgrims Road (Slí Mhór) from the 6th century monastic ruins at Lemanaghan through Boher, the home of Ireland’s finest reliquary Saint Manchan Shrine, to the monastic site of Clonmacnoise along the River Shannon. The roadway has been used by pilgrims for centuries as they travelled along the Esker Riada, a continuous raised glacial ridge on the landscape formed over 12,000 years ago. The Esker Riada and the River Shannon formed a natural ‘crossroads’ in the heart of Ireland providing pilgrims easy access through the bogs and the waterways to important centres of learning and devotion.

Votive offerings at Lemanaghan Church. Photograph by Kevin O’Dwyer

Irene Murphy and Mick O'Shea use microphones and hydrophones to record the sounds of wind and water. They will perform an improvised live performance on the Mayfly using these recordings and their own self-made instruments to create an immersive sonic experience where the audience becomes part of a sonic ecosystem. 






〰〰〰️️️PROGRAMME 2022