For three weeks (23 August – 12 Sept 2021) we have been exploring the source of the River Shannon, in the biodiverse grasslands and bogs of the Cavan Burren, that blanket and conceal an extensive underground network of waterways. We have wandered among boulders transported by glaciers before, finally, coming to rest on the fossilised remains of corals. Venturing underground we experienced the river’s secret paths, like those that feed the Shannon Pot, an upwelling that is both the source of the shape shifting waters of the Shannon River as it is the fluid stream of myth and folklore that meanders through time branching and evolving to provide each generation with an allegory appropriate to the time.
Listening to the keepers of stories, local geologists, geopark ambassadors and conservation scientists we learnt that much remains uncertain. It is now our privilege to start working through our interviews to fill this uncertainty with a new artwork that fuses the mysteries of science and folklore, giving form to a new fictional being that lives deep in the source of the Shannon River.
Our river residency is part of the Museum of Mythological Water Beasts programme curated by Ormston House, Limerick and the residency is co-funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and led by Limerick Culture & Arts Office in partnership with the Cavan Arts Office.