In 2011 the Guardian printed: “the work of Ben Rivers, who was born and raised in Somerset, has garnered increasing recognition in the past years…. the way he captures his subjects, cut loose from conventional time, could not be more appropriate”.

We first invited Ben to show his work in the county in 2017 and since then he’s been back a number of times to present films, explore the landscape and meet people. It is not hard to imagine why the Mendips vast, dark passages and spectacular gorges hold such a fascination for the artist. Ben’s rich, cinematic portraits exploring wilderness include his extraordinary 2015 Public ArtAngel Commission shot in the Atlas Mountains in Morrocco.

Over the last two years we have been developing a new work with the artist, gathering film footage from locations including the vast caverns of Wookey Hole and narratives from the bar of  The Hunters Lodge Inn at Priddy. Ben has assembled a talented international team to work with him on the production, the film’s script is currently being written by the USA based award winning science fiction novelist Mark von Schlegel, the music is being devised by the France based artist and composer Felicia Atkinson and the computer generated imagery is being developed by Bulgarian Animator Georgi Stamenov.

During August we have been working towards a performance of the film in progress to launch Somerset Art Weeks’ 2019.  On Friday 20 September 7 – 9pm, the netherworld at Wookey Hole will be illuminated by projection and filled with the echoes of choral music arranged by Christina Vantzou and sung by students from Prior Park College, Bath.

There is a currently a waiting list for this event, please email if you would like to be added to the list [email protected]

Josephine Lanyon, Associate Curator for Somerset Art Works and Somerset Film


Published on September 3, 2019 // Sarah Adey