The River Speaks


A new film by writer Robert Powell and film-maker Ben Pugh projected onto Lendal Bridge, York, for two nights during York Literature Festival in 2017.

The River Speaks, inspired by the rivers Ouse and Foss, features poems by Robert Powell, spoken word, drawings by York-born artist Jake Attree, and Ben Pugh’s striking poetic imagery filmed at sites at Bishopthorpe, Nether Poppleton, Linton-on-Ouse, and in York city centre.

Fittingly projected onto Lendal Bridge within feet of the River Ouse, The River Speaks celebrates the spirit, physicality, present and past of the Ouse and Foss, and of rivers and waterways in general. The 15-minute film is creatively based on A Small Box of River, an artists’ book and exhibition by Attree & Powell first shown at Lotte Inch Gallery, York, and Salts Mill, Saltaire, in 2016.

The River Speaks was supported by the Canal & River Trust ‘Arts on The Waterways’ programme

Canal and River Trust