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community by way of the water

Artists Chelsea Canavan & Deirdre Powers’ collaborative practice focuses on developing relations with communities of interest in exploring shared narratives around our waterways.


Following the water paths of evolving spaces our projects respond to in-between places by re-imagining the channels of movement within the ecologies of people.  


    community ecology archive 







Water Paths - explores life with communities along the Shannon river catchment area. As an interdisciplinary creative project,  the aim to visualise the intricate channels of community ecology by way of navigation on the waterways. Much like the natural movement and evolution of water, Water Paths traverses the ecologies of people from urban to rural, from controlled & industrialised to commons & wild landscapes, and the spaces in-between.

A contributing project to the Eco Showboat, we look at existing communities of interest within these spaces, communities that remain situated - despite the effects of the socio-economic landscape. Our journey along the social pathways of the river, exposes new histories, our relationship to space, all the while relying on the generosity of a free-lift aboard local boats from the river’s heart in Limerick City to the Grand Canal in Tullamore.

As the river starts its life, it begins to move, meandering in search of the simple path. Its tributaries reach out charting its course - and along its carved paths communities follow and forge relations, becoming active in the river's ecology.  These stories began with communities keeping daily journals with river’s catchment residents during the Lockdown. They form the story archive on board the EcoShow Boat - the MAYFLY.


Social Practice


Community of Ecology

 By way of the Water
Explorations of Community Ecology & Controlled Landscapes 


Adapting photography, video, skilled craft and traditions, along with a detailed research process, the artists aim to promote dialogue and exchange with communities of interest, the projects set out to celebrate and enjoy the rich community of ecology and culture.

By design canals (artificial water ways) inherently generate industries along their routes, whereby defining ecologies and exposing new histories apparent in the vernacular architecture. The artists Chelsea Canavan and Deirdre Power’s collaborative practice follow these watery paths of evolving spaces responding to these in-between places by re-imagining the channels of movement within the ecologies of people. 


The Water Paths project engages existing communities of interest - societies that continue to retain a belonging long after the redundancy of the canals commercial enterprises. By way of shared narratives, citizen science data, and being present in the moment - the ecological pathways that defined personal space are framed by the artists intervention. 




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