River Residencies is a partnership project led by Ormston House and Limerick Culture and Arts Office, in partnership with Cavan Arts Office, Clare Arts Office and Tipperary Arts Office, under the Arts Council of Ireland’s An Invitation to Collaboration scheme.
Following an international open call, the River Residencies brought together artists and rural communities including boat-builders, folklorists, Geopark guides, historians, swimmers, citizen scientists and other catchment custodians, in partnership with four local authorities along the River Shannon.
William Bock was awarded the Clare residency and worked with local liaison, Trudi van der Elsen, during the research phase in 2021 and 2022 on the making of his film RISING. Prior to making the film, William Bock spent a year visiting local families and individuals to learn about their connections to the river, their history and their thoughts about the future. During his visits, William became interested in the body of silt that coats the estuary. For the artist, the silt represents the accumulated heritage of the communities reliant on the River Shannon.
Filmed along the shores of the Shannon estuary, RISING depicts individuals and family groups as they emerge from the silt, covered in the river mud, returning back to their everyday lives. Part
documentary, part visual poem, RISING responds to local people’s changing relationship with the river over time and the environmental changes that will challenge life along its shores. Through the film, local community members worked together with William to offer a new vision of the landscape and their place within it.
William is an interdisciplinary artist working in Ireland and the UK exploring the connections between people and the environments they inhabit. Through photography, film and sound, he explored connections between the community and the body of water of the River Shannon where they live and work.