Schools Online Workshops: A Winter's Tale 2 - 17 Dec 2021

Taking inspiration from The Ark's Winter Light exhibition and music show Tracks in the Snow, children will celebrate the many different aspects of winter through the creation of artwork and story-making.

Winter is perhaps the best time to immerse ourselves in the imaginary worlds of tales and fables, in the season when the natural world is taking a break from the intense activity of the summer and autumn months.

As plant life retreats to the underground and animals prepare for the long and cold time ahead, humans too feel the urge to slow down, as the days get shorter and nights longer. We spend more time indoors looking for quiet time, perhaps a time for story-making and storytelling.

  • 1st to 3rd classes: Using imagery, the artist will share a short wintry tale with the class. The children will be asked to respond to the story through a mixture of drawing and painting techniques. The artwork will act as a starting point for the children's own wintry tale.

    Teachers will be emailed the introductory story in advance to read with the class (not compulsory), giving the children the opportunity to get familiar with the content of the story to illustrate.

  • 4th to 6th classes: Children will explore the textures and patterns of winter’s natural elements like snow, frost, ice etc. through mark-making, rubbing and printing using a wide variety of natural items like wooden sticks, feathers and leaves. They will work on a variety of paper (see list below) that will be used to make a collage of wintry images that will inspire them to visually represent their own wintry tale.

Curricular Links

4th -6th classes will explore and create a variety of surfaces textures using a range of materials and tools. They will experiment with mark-making, creating patterns and textures. Workshops for 1st-3rd classes will focus on the drawing stand of the curriculum with particular attention to imaginative drawing, exploring line and shape.

Requirements for Participation

For safety reasons, a teacher must be present in the room throughout the workshop and be available to assist the children as needed.

  • A computer/laptop with internet access
  • A digital whiteboard (or alternatively a white wall or screen and projector).
  • Speakers
  • To ensure a smooth and successful workshop, The Ark staff will also need to arrange an advance preparation phone call with the class teacher.

Materials required:

1st to 3rd classes:

  • A4 paper
  • Paint and brushes
  • A selection of colour pencils and crayons.

4th to 6th classes:

  • A selection of natural items that the children have collected in the outdoors in advance of the workshop such as wooden sticks, bark, feathers, leaves, stones and shells.
  • White and coloured paper
  • Old magazines or newspaper
  • Inks and ink pads if availables
  • Sponges
  • Scissors, glue, paint
  • A selection of colour pencils and crayons that the class may have available.

Online platform: The workshop will be delivered using the Zoom video call software. This will be a private Zoom session which will only be accessed by the teacher whose class is booked into the workshop, the artists and The Ark's staff. The session will be recorded for the safety and security of all participants, however this recording will not be shared publicly and will be deleted within 30 days.

About the Artist...

Jole Bortoli

Jole Bortoli, is a visual artist, art-facilitator and director of Art to Heart – an art organisation that works with children and adults in art, educational and community settings.

Jole regularly curates and leads visual art programmes in The Ark where she also facilitates the Primary Schools Visual Art Curriculum as part of the Department of Education and Skills and EPV-approved summer course for teachers. She has art-directed the interior design of children-centred spaces such as the A&E Department in Temple Street Children’s Hospital and the Office for the Ombudsman for Children.

Jole currently works in Dublin and the Burren, Co. Clare and every week she leads workshops for children and adults.

Jole’s personal practice as a visual artist goes hand in hand with her work as artist facilitator. Her personal work either informs or is a response to what she explores with the people she works with, and it is the visual expression of observations, reflections and study.