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.

Create new artworks and creative adventures inspired by the creatures big and small, meek and mighty, that can be found all around us. Through brand new online workshops, video tutorials, at-home activities and inspiring experiences, children will be encouraged to look closely, listen, imagine and make!

To find out more about upcoming events browse the programme for The Beautiful Beasts @ Home here, or explore our at-home activities now available online here. Stay tuned for more coming across the summer!

In the meantime, why not take a look below for some inspiration from some of the sculptures from The Ark's collection, The Beautiful Beasts?

Artist: Anthony Scott
Material: Ceramic
Anthony’s work is inspired by Celtic myths and stories. The Celts believed that animal spirits often influenced the human world, and Anthony has tried to show this feeling in his work.
He likes to make his work different by giving his animal sculptures certain human-like characteristics, often in the facial expression.
Purchased by The Ark for Bless the Beasts in 2001

Artist: Conor Fallon
Material: Metal - mild and stainless steel
This hare is made from several pieces of steel cut from sheets and then softened and welded together.
What I wanted to make was the feeling of a hare - what remains in your mind after you have caught a glimpse of this marvellous wild thing.’’ - Conor Fallon
Commissioned for Flight at The Ark in 1999

Artist: Owen Crawford
Material: Kiln-dried Elm
A sculpture that’s also a piece of furniture!
The Ark asked Owen to make the toucan bench to be placed in the waiting area of the A&E Unit of Temple Street University Children’s Hospital in Dublin.
Given the theme of ‘flight’, Owen chose the toucan bird as the subject, with its short wings and long bill. The wood gives it a rich colour, with long smooth carved lines to show its large bill.
Commissioned for The Healing Ark in 2001

Artist: Imogen Stuart
Material: Brazilian Mahogany
Wilhelma is a tortoise. She 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. She also carries a secret scroll that tells her story.
Commissioned for 2x2 at The Ark in 1996

Artist: Orla Kaminska
Material: Mixed media, wood & ceramic
One of the best known creatures in Greek mythology, Pegasus is a magnificent winged horse usually shown as white coloured.
To make the piece, Orla combined an old rocking horse with beautiful wings she made from ceramics and feathers. She painted the sculpture light blue and silver to hint at the mythical horse flying through the sky and to give a sense mystery.
Commissioned for Flight at The Ark in 1999

Artist: Luxon Gutsa
Material: Springstone
This sculpture is full of detail and texture. Areas have been smoothed by wet sandpaper while some areas have been left rough.
As it was made, wax was applied to the surface to draw out and enrich the natural colours in the stone, a traditional process in Zimbabwe which is where Luxon is from. He wanted to show movement, as bold and strong as it is flowing and elegant.
Purchased by The Ark for Bless the Beasts in 2001

Artist: Owen Crawford
Material: Elm and Bog Oak
This sculpture shows two woodpeckers encircling a grub. Owen wanted to show the woodpeckers emerging from the wood, unlike in real nature where the birds usually try to tap into the wood.
The sculpture allows you to see some of the processes involved in wood carving and you can see where Owen carved and chipped into the elm and bog wood.
Commissioned for Bless the Beasts at The Ark in 2001.

Artist: Olivia Musgrave
Material: Bronze
To highlight certain characteristics of the sheep, Olivia exaggerated some of its features. Its stomach is bigger than normal, and look how small its legs and head are. This is her way of showing how big and heavy its wool coat is.
"Musgrave’s sculptures are not just about the appearance of things, they are about sensation, and how things feel.” - Aidan Dunne
Commissioned for Bless the Beasts at The Ark in 2001.

Artist: Helen O’Connell
Material: Limestone
The seal was created from a piece of limestone from deep in a quarry in Kilkenny. The stone there contains many fossils and polishes up to a dark colour.
Helen spent a long time polishing the surface of the stone so that you can see the fossils clearly. She invites you to touch and explore the surface.
“I make sculptures that people can touch and rub and even sit on. To me, it is the highest compliment if a visitor to a gallery touches my sculpture” Helen O’Connell
Commissioned for The Beautiful Beasts at The Ark in 2017.

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