The River Project

The River Project

The River Project was a collaborative research project situated on the outer edges of Sheffield, where a derelict Victorian Cemetery meets the River Don. Eelyn Lee collaboratred with students from Sheffield College in an exploration of the past and present to speculate on possible narratives for the future - a kind of gothic futurist look at what it means to be alive today. 

Together, the team researched and mapped the local topography; histories, myths & ecosystem of the River Don; the stories around Wardsend Cemetery and observed how people and wildlife inhabit the area. The research was re-presented in an exhibition at Site Gallery from 22nd Nov – 2nd Dec 2018 and to mark the bicentenary of the publication of Frankenstein, a short fiction film was presented at an outdoor screening in Wardsend Cemetery.

River Project Exhibition WS


As a development of Eelyn’s ongoing body of work inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the team compared perceptions of life and death 200 years ago with our understanding of mortality today. The film depicts a conjuring of the Celtic goddess Danu and a creature of her making to explore themes of pollution and renewal.

Read a review by Ian Nesbitt here

" I liked how the project ideas evolved through the process of experimentation. The course of the project changed as we went along " - Collaborating Student

" Now I know more about the heritage of the River Don I feel I have a much deeper understanding and even a connection with the river " - Collaborating Student

Commissioned by Don Catchment River Trust and Site Gallery.
Delivered in partnership with Sheffield College and Wardsend Cemetery

Additional collaborators included:
Dan Loops - cinematography, film score & editing
Jon Cannon - guest artist & designer
Martha Armitage - workshop assistant

Sheffield College Students:
Brooke Higton-Shirt, Cameron Gregory, Declan Levesley, Emily Marsden, Gabriel Scalisi, Isabel Nelson, Isabel Saltiel-Shaw, Maya Attwood, Megan Dance, Morgan Oakley, Paul Johnson, Phoebe Glaves, Rasha Omer, Rebekah Krain, Suzanne Nundu, Harry Foster, Charlotte Rose

Watch the film below.
Photos by Julian Lister

The River Project 3

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