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SOUNDING THE SHORE (Ongoing Project)

Sounding the Shore: an exploration into shoreline communities of Lough Ree, is a collaborative art project with artist Nollaig Molloy, Ballyleague Men's Shed and their geographical supporting network.

Over a two phase period, during the sailing season months of May to August in 2017-2018, Sounding the Shore utilizes the larch boatbuilding skills of the Men's Shed, through the creation of sprit sail attachment for their lake boat (see image of sprit sail below). The project is enabled by the process of communication on the water and an abundance of untold stories on Lough Ree. The attachments mast, sprit, boom and calico sail will serve as a beacon for radio transmitter technologies while travelling the lake stopping at specific port of calls and facilitating audio and filmic event based outcomes on Lough Ree. Artistic explorations into the way of life of past inhabitants of these now deserted islands are coupled with enquiry into todays existing communities on the lakes shores. Sounding the Shore delves into the rural context and shifting identities of the Islands of Lough Ree with particular regards to their lost material cultures.


Research into the site of Lough Ree, Co. Roscommon/Co. Longford/ Co. Westmeath.

Research was funded by the CREATE Artist in the Community Scheme: Research and Development Award 2015 with mentoring (mentor Gareth Kennedy).

During the months of June, July and August 2015 the research incorporated fieldwork on the site and surrounding areas; meeting experts in areas of angling, sailing, boat building, rushworking, farming, history, heritage. The research period allowed time to connect with past and present Islanders of Lough Ree and their family members giving immense support to this ongoing project.

Image below: Research image, Map of Lough Ree, courtesy of IWAI (Inland Waterway Association of Ireland)
Research image: Lough Ree Islanders on a clinker built lake boat with sprit sail. Image courtesy of Gearoid O' Brien, 'Lough Ree; a historic lake settlement' edited by Bernadette Cunningham and Harman Murtagh