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Schools Visual Art Workshops: My Own Folktale 7 - 23 Jun 2023

Inspired by Cartoon Saloon’s award winning animated movies The Secret of Kells, Songs of the Sea and WolfWalkers, this visual arts workshop invites your class to delve into the rich world of Irish folk tales.

During the workshop, each child will start by creating the setting for a personal narrative by painting the backdrop for this story, as background artists do in animation studios. They will then design a character of their own invention - perhaps a creature or animal they’d love to shape-shift into, to be in their skin and take on their abilities?

In keeping with folklore traditions, we will explore the magical and mythical world of Irish stories and legends, their characters, environments and possible artefacts to see what connections can be made with real historical events. We will also look at drawing and illustration styles, and how they can be used to create different effects, for example, the conflict between the natural and the man-made worlds that can be seen in Wolfwalkers.

To fuel the children’s imagination, your class will start the session by visiting Cartoon Saloon’s WolfWalkers exhibition in The Ark gallery. This exhibition contains concept art, beautiful framed artworks and panels that illustrate WolfWalkers’ production stages and teamwork.

A collaboration between the Butler Gallery and five-time Oscar nominated animation studio Cartoon Saloon, the Wolfwalkers exhibition offers pupils the chance to see original art, core working drawings and backgrounds from the film, and learn some of the methods and techniques the animators used to bring the film's story to life.

Along with your class's workshop and visit to the Wolfwalkers exhibition, teachers can also download Wolfwalkers Classroom Activity Pack, which is full of storytelling and visual art exercises exploring some of the film's themes.

The activities cover the drawing, paint & colour, and clay strands of the Visual Art curriculum, and also create opportunities to explore cross curricular links with History in the story and culture in the past strands, as well as story writing, oral and communication skills, listening and responding strands of the Primary Language curriculum.


About 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.