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The Ark and the Crafts Council of Ireland Presents CRAFTED CREATURES

Working in partnership, The Ark and the Crafts Council of Ireland will bring the magic of craft to children and families next spring. Crafted Creatures is a free exhibition curated by international curator Brian Kennedy, which brings together a diverse collection of work by leading craftspeople who have taken their inspiration from the animal kingdom. The exhibition runs alongside an extensive series of workshops and events for children, families and school groups.

Spread over a number of floors in The Ark, the Crafted Creatures exhibition will feature work by Irish-based craftspeople David Best, Brian Buckley Liadain Butler, Mark Campden, Owen Crawford, Conor Fallon, Claire Finlay, Inga Hamilton, Sharon Hay, Bob Johnston, Orla Kaminska, Anne Kiely, John Kindness, Lynn Kirkham, Frances Lambe, Bernie Leahy, Brid Lyons, Jane Murtagh, Olivia Musgrave, Beth O'Halloran, Mark Oliver, Krystyna Pomeroy, Imelda Rogers, Anthony Scott, Simon Spain, Imogen Stuart, Gwen Wilkinson and David Withers.

Pieces on display will include an intriguing invasion of textile jellyfish and insects made from recycled materials, while farm animals and pets will make themselves at home in The Ark's theatre space. Insights into the artists' inspiration and preparatory drawings will also feature in the exhibition.

Children and families can explore this captivating world of crafted soft toys, pets, insects, underwater creatures and mythical beasts using activity worksheets to help reveal the secrets used to bring materials like clay, wool and willow to life as wonderful pieces of art.

Children aged 2 to 12 will have the opportunity to discover all the fun and creativity of contemporary craft in a unique series of workshops running alongside the exhibition. Starting with a guided tour of the exhibition, children will work with two expert craftspeople to try out many exciting craft techniques. They will have a chance to explore animal themes using materials including clay, wire, fabric, rubber and plastic, and all children will leave with their very own creative crafted creature. Workshops are priced at €10 / €8 (concessions).

Among the many treats in store at Crafted Creatures is the chance to meet and handle some amazing stuffed animals from the Natural History Museum's collection in an opening weekend special event (19 Feb), kindly hosted by the National Museum of Ireland.

The Crafts Council of Ireland and Craft Northern Ireland have designated 2011 as Year of Craft which will be will be celebrated through a diverse range of dynamic events and programmes at home and abroad to showcase the very best of craft made on the island of Ireland. Full details of the Year of Craft 2011 programme are available at Crafted Creatures is the first major public event taking place as part of Year of Craft 2011 and is presented by The Ark in partnership with the Crafts Council of Ireland.

Running in tandem with the exhibition, the schools craft workshops invite children (from Junior infants to 6th class) to unleash their imagination while offering the potential to explore aspects of the primary school visual arts curriculum.

Teachers are also invited to take part in Crafted Creatures as The Ark continues THE CREATIVE SELF programme: continuing personal and professional development opportunities for teachers. This creative training day for teachers offers an opportunity to develop personal creativity and explore new craft-based sills with professional craftspeople in clay, construction fabric and fibre. Ideas for how these skills can be used to enhance learning in other subject areas will also be discussed.

Bookings from 16th December 01 6707788

PUBLIC schedule

Exhibition schedule: public opening hours
19 February - 27 March (Weekends) 12-5pm
22-27 February (Mid-term break) 12-5pm
17-20 March (St Patrick's Festival 2011) 12-5pm

Craft workshops schedule
Toddlers (2-3 years) Saturdays 10-11am†
4-7 year olds Saturdays, Sundays & mid-term break 12.30-2.30pm
8-12 year olds Saturdays, Sundays & mid-term break 3-5pm
Tickets €10/€8*
† Exhibition tour is not included for Toddler sessions. Accompanying adults do not require tickets for workshops.
* Price for children attending with students, senior citizens, the unwaged, those parenting alone.

Sat 19 & Sun 20 Feb
Farm animals
With ceramic artist Terry O'Farrell and weaver Lian Callaghan
Mid-term break menagerie
Tue 22 & Wed 23 Feb With ceramic artist Terry O'Farrell and weaver Lian Callaghan
Thu 24 & Fri 25 Feb With textile artist Gina Faustino and ceramic artist Clare Turley
Sat 26 & Sun 27 Feb With jeweller Angela O'Kelly and textile artist Liadain Butler
Sat 5 & Sun 6 Mar With textile artist Gina Faustino and ceramic artist Clare Turley
Wild animals
Sat 12 & Sun 13 Mar With ceramic artist Terry O'Farrell and weaver Lian Callaghan
Sat 19 & Sun 20 Mar With jeweller Angela O'Kelly and textile artist Liadain Butler
Underwater world
Sat 26 & Sun 27 Mar With jeweller Angela O'Kelly and textile artist Liadain Butler

Special events
Sat 19 Feb, 2-3.30pm
Meet stuffed animals
Pop into The Ark between 2pm and 3.30pm to meet and touch some amazing stuffed animals, like the bear skin, from the Natural History and Decorative Arts & History Museums' Handling Collections. This opening weekend special event is kindly hosted by the National Museum of Ireland.

Sun 20 Feb, 2.30pm
Curator's talk
With Brian Kennedy, internationally acclaimed curator of the Crafted Creatures exhibition. Limited capacity, tickets allocated on a first come first served basis.

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