The River Runs Through Us

Field recording, public walks and swim, film and tour, text installations in collaboration with Ruth Philo for The River Runs Through Us, and project funded by Arts Council England and Dedham Vale AONB 2017-18.

The River Runs Through Us is a project by Stuart Bowditch and Ruth Philo with the people and communities along the River Stour, which flows through Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex. Building on their previous collaboration To The Lighthouse, a film about the decommissioned Orford Ness Lighthouse, sound recordist Stuart Bowditch and painter Ruth Philo were awarded funding to work on their next film, The River Runs Through Us.

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 film was screened at pub and galleries alongside the river and the project culminated in an exhibition at The Boat House Gallery (NT) at Flatford, July to August 2018.

This project was the seed event for the inaugural year of the River Stour Festival that took place in 2018.


17-18th November 2018 - Sluice, Kuhlhaus, Berlin
6th October 2018 - Village Hall, Sturmer
25 September - 12 October 2018 - Biennial Sino-British Contemporary Art Exhibition, Yantai Art Museum, China
11th August 2018 - The Alma Inn, Harwich
29th July 2018 - The Swan Inn, Stratford St.Mary
28th July 2018 - The Anchor, Nayland
21st July 2018 - North House Gallery, Manningtree
8th July 2018 - Henny Swan, Henny
7th July 2018 - Barnardiston Arms, Kedington