The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts

Watch your step and mind your head. Ormston House welcomes you to the Museum of Mythological Water Beasts, a project about, along and on the River Shannon.

The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts (2016-) began with an open research process, meeting with catchment custodians to learn about the wild spaces and species of the city. Grounded in community wisdom, the project returns indoors over the next six months with a series of artistic commissions, starting with Andreas Kindler von Knobloch, Tom Watt and Tanad Williams in April, followed by Ann Blake, Chris Boland, Ceara Conway, Mary Conroy, and Emma Fisher. The evolving exhibition-environment will also feature an open call via our new Membership Scheme, and objects and artefacts from the municipal collection, extracted through archaeological digs of the river.

Considering our conversations about conservation, Andreas Kindler von Knobloch, Tom Watt and Tanad Williams returned to the notional foundations of the Museum discovering underground the murky waters of the river reclaiming the encroaching city. This undefined space – obscured by the brownish, living liquid – is at odds with the position of authority often associated with the rigid institution, and opens up the project to new streams of research and activity in the Museum.

The core mission of the Museum is established by the collaborative practice of the artists, as an active and interactive workspace. A multi-use structure provides a stage, a viewing platform, a work-station, where a local ecclesiastical decorator will teach us techniques in restoration: to scrape back almost 150 years of paint to see what colour the building was in 1872 and to assess damage to the elaborate pilasters. The Museum is a place where we can learn from one and other, to conduct experiments and exercises in conservation and preservation, as well as imagination and discovery.


Ormston House would like to thank the artists, our Board of Directors, Limerick Fire Brigade, Sheila Deegan at Limerick Arts Office, Mike Fitzpatrick at Limerick School of Art & Design, Pat Lysaght, Ray O’Halloran at Limerick City Build, Gary McMahon at the Ilen Project, Pat O’Connor at Castleconnell Fisheries Association, Matthew Potter at Limerick City Museum, Jürgen Simpson at the University of Limerick, Sharon Slater, Tom Treacy at Shannon Foynes Port Authority.

The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts is co-curated by Niamh Brown and Mary Conlon, and kindly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland Visual Arts Project Award.


Andreas Kindler von Knobloch, Tom Watt and Tanad Williams

13 April - 21 September 2018

Image: Height (2018) by Andreas Kindler Von Knobloch, Tom Watt and Tanad Williams. Photography by Jed Niezgoda.
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