The Book of Invasions

Ormston House will host the launch of The Book of Invasions, a new publication by writer and artist Nathan O’Donnell, on Saturday, 22 June from 35pm. As part of the River Residencies programme, over the summer of 2021, O’Donnell spent several weeks on the Tipperary shoreline of Lough Derg, exploring its history, ecology, and topography, all the while gathering stories about swimming on the lake. The Book of Invasions is a record of this process, devised in consultation with local respondents and designed by Clare Bell.

For the launch, Nathan O’Donnell has invited geographer Patrick Bresnihan to discuss the making of The Book of Invasions, including the residency on Lough Derg and the collaborations that made it possible. They will talk about the experience of the residency on Lough Derg and the dialogues with swimmers and local historians through which a portrait of the lake and its community became clear. They will also talk more generally about the different ways in which researchers – be they artists or geographers – might approach a body of water, exploring its history, its ecology, its culture, and its politics.

Copies of the publication are available for purchase online from our E-shop here or at the the launch. This event is free but our capacity is limited. Please register your interest at

About Nathan O’Donnell

Nathan O’Donnell is a writer and artist based in Dublin. He has produced several project-based publications and zines, often in collaboration, and in 2020, with Marysia Wieckiewicz-Carroll, he co-founded Numbered Editions, an experimental imprint for artists’ writing. He is also one of the co-editors of the Irish contemporary art publisher PVA (Journal + Books). He has previously been awarded artist’s commissions from IMMA, Dublin City Arts Office, the Arts Council, and South Dublin County Council. He was a Curatorial Associate at IMMA, 2018–23, and he lectures on contemporary art and experimental publishing at NCAD and Trinity College Dublin, where he was the recipient of a Samuel Beckett Creative Fellowship in 2023.

About Patrick Bresnihan

Patrick Bresnihan is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at Maynooth University. His work looks at the contested politics of water, land, and energy in Ireland and how these speak to broader questions of colonial and postcolonial development, capitalist political economy, and environmental justice. His most recent book All We Want is the Earth. Land, Labour and Movements beyond Environmentalism (Bristol University Press, 2023) was co-written with Naomi Millner.

About River Residencies

River Residencies (2021–22) was funded by the Arts Council of Ireland’s Invitation to Collaboration scheme, led by Limerick Arts Office in partnership with the Arts Offices in Cavan, Clare, and Tipperary. The River Residencies were curated by Caimin Walsh and Mary Conlon at Ormston House as part of the Museum of Mythological Water Beasts (2017–) about, along, and on the River Shannon.

This event is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.


The Book of Invasions, launch event, 22 June 2024 at 3pm. Image credit Jed Niezgoda.
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