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Story Islands & Wilhelma the Tortoise: Video Workshop 13 Jun 2020

Join visual artist Duffy Mooney-Sheppard for a visual art and story-making video workshop for Ages 5-12 inspired by Wilhelma the Tortoise, a friendly mahogany sculpture from The Ark’s collection. Part of Cruinniú na nÓg.

Wilhelma the Tortoise lives at The Ark. Usually, she is frequently visited by children who read her story, climb on her back and make drawings for her. It's been a very quiet time for her recently so she suggested that we get together online to share her story and make pictures.

In this story-making workshop, you will be inspired by Wilhelma's adventurous life travelling at sea to create a unique pictorial story map of your own. When drawing a map, you can invent your own world and tell a brand new story using whatever basic art materials you have available at home.

Wilhelma the Tortoise was made by Imogen Stuart, one of Ireland’s foremost sculptors. Imogen creates sculptures in wood, stone, bronze, steel, cement, plaster, terracotta and glass, often inspired by myths, prophesies and religious imagery. Wilhelma is made from a precious wood called Brazilian mahogany that gives her a deep, rich colour. Imogen has added beautiful carvings onto Wilhelma’s shell to share some of Wilhelma’s memories of travelling on Noah’s Ark.

You will need:

  • Drawing materials e.g. pencils, markers, crayons, whatever you have at home!
  • Paper (any shapes, sizes and colours)
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Pritt stick or similar (Sellotape, blutack etc.)

Watch the Video Workshop Now

We'd love to see your story maps and any other artwork you create inspired by Wilhelma's adventures. If you would like to share them with us, please send them by email to or tag us on social media @TheArkDublin.

Duffy Mooney Sheppard

About Duffy Mooney-Sheppard

Duffy is a visual artist, arts program curator and workshop facilitator. A recent graduate of the MA Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Arts, she is drawn to the process of story-making as a way to explore ideas and share her curiosity about the natural world. With many years of experience working creatively with young people at The Ark and many other cultural institutions and schools, she has developed her facilitation methods which are based in playful observation, imagination and telling tall tales. This year, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, she founded Little Islands Art Club, an online art groups for children and adults. Find out more at:

Beautiful Beasts 660

Part of The Beautiful Beasts @ Home

This summer, enjoy a range of delightful online events and experiences in visual art, drama and dance, inspired by The Ark's collection of loveable animal sculptures, The Beautiful Beasts. Find out more about The Beautiful Beasts @ Home.

The Beautiful Beasts @ Home is part of The Ark's 25th birthday season, sponsored by BDO.