The River Runs Through Us

A short film by Stuart Bowditch and Ruth Philo made with the people and communities along the River Stour, which flows through Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex. Ignoring the notion of the river as a boundary, in this age where increasingly borders and divisions are drawn, the artists discovered a deeper connectedness and the primitive co-dependency that exists between people and water. The artists hosted a series of walks-and-talks and a swim through the Stour Valley during the summer of 2017 with local experts on the river’s connections with ecology, literature, wildlife, writers and artists.

The project culminated with a premiere screening in June 2018 together with an installation and exhibition at The Boat House Gallery (National Trust) at Flatford, from July to August 2018. The film then toured along the river being screened at pubs and galleries. Following this there have been further screenings at Yantai Art Museum, China, Sluice:Berlin and the upcoming Venice Biennale, part of the collateral event, Alive in the Universe.


Stour Surrounding – Artists and the Valley Film:

‘Stour Surrounding – Artists and the Valley’ is a documentary film that takes a look at artists both past and present who have responded to the landscape of the Stour Valley.

In the film we hear how this special landscape – of Constable, Gainsborough and Munnings – continues to shape and speak to the work of contemporary artists today. Moving between studio interviews and beautiful footage across the valley we hear from painter and sculptor Maggi Hambling who speaks of ‘absorbing’ the landscape, and from Simon Carter, May Cornet and several others who talk expressively about how they respond to the Stour Valley and landscape in their own individual ways.

The film has been produced by artist Jevan Watkins Jones with Offshoot Films and was commissioned by the Improving the Stour Valley for Visitors project, hosted by the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and funded by The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Please note that this film occurs one swear word at 43:03.