The exhibition opened in the Garter Lane Arts Centre on Thursday evening, 9 May. We were delighted to see, among the “flying birds” of the show, many of the artists and illustrators who created the artwork on display.
The show is the result of a collaboration between IBBY Ireland, Illustrators Ireland and Garter Lane, and features the work of over 30 professional artists and illustrators and people who have “migrated” to Ireland and are living in Direct Provision.
The theme of migration was chosen in order to highlight the situation that refugees across Europe are faced with and the exhibition “ was inspired by what it is to flee on a wing and a prayer.”
The event was opened by Síle Pinkert, Executive Director of Garter Lane, Michelle McQuaid, who works with the Waterford Area Partnership, and Jane O’Hanlon, President of IBBY Ireland.
Origami birds created by students at local schools were also on display in the gallery and are a lovely visual addition to the theme of the exhibition.
The show will run until the end of June.
To celebrate Welcome to the Flock, the exhibition opening in Garter Lane this week and supported by IBBY Ireland, primary school pupils in County Waterford have been making origami birds.
These colourful creatures will hang alongside art works by more than 30 Irish illustrators. The theme of migrating birds highlights the challenges faced by the millions of families who have been forced to flee their homes to safety around the world. The multicultural workshop included pupils in direct provision.
Welcome to the Flock has been organised by Illustrators Ireland in association with IBBY Ireland and Garter Lane Arts Centre and Waterford Cultural Quarter. The exhibition opens on May 9th at 6.30 and runs to June 30th, Tuesday – Saturday 11am to 5.30pm & during evening performances. All are Welcome to the Flock!
“Welcome to the Flock” is an exhibition of bird and flight images created by professional artists and illustrators to highlight the plight of thousands of families who have been forced to migrate to safer places in the world. The exhibition, which opens in the Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford next week, is a collaboration of artists from Illustrators Ireland as well as selected guests. It is supported by IBBY Ireland.
IBBY Ireland and Illustrators Ireland felt that an important contribution to the exhibition would be the inclusion of artwork on the theme of migration produced by residents living in Direct Provision.
Tatyana Feeney, of Illustrators Ireland, spent the day with a group of residents from Waterford Direct Provision. Participants came from backgrounds as diverse as Albania, South Africa and Nigeria, and were encouraged to create images of birds that exist in their countries of origin, or that live only in their imagination.
Through the use of pastels, pencils, collage and paint, participants created images that have become part of the “flock” of artwork.
“Welcome to the Flock” can be viewed in the Garter Lane Front of House Gallery. The exhibition will run from 9 May to 30 June.
In September 2017, the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society, along with BIBIANA (the International House of Art for Children in Slovakia) and with the support of IBBY International, hosted an exhibition of postcards created by illustrators from around the world to highlight the plight of thousands of children and their families who have been forced to migrate to safer places in the world.
The theme of the exhibition was “Migrations” and the illustrators who participated created unique images of birds, real or imagined, in the process of migration. In total over 300 illustrators created work in support of this cause, including the former Irish Laureate na nÓg PJ Lynch, and illustrators Tatyana Feeney and Margaret Anne Suggs.
At the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the IBBY International Stand displayed images from what is now called the Migrations Projekt.
The exhibition has resulted in a book entitled “Migrations”, which will be published in May 2019. Fifty percent of the royalties will be donated to IBBY.
It may be a bit of a mouthful, but the Sustainable Development Goals Book Club could help save the world. This collaboration between IBBY, the International Publishers Association, the United Nations and other book organisations*, is drawing up a list of recommended children’s books (age 12 and under) that relate to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 goals outline a better future for all by 2030 by addressing global challenges such as poverty, climate change, gender inequality etc. (full list at www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html)
The first list of books, exploring the first SDG of “No Poverty”, will be launched at the Bologna Book Fair on 2nd April. Booklists for each goal in turn will be released over the next 17 months.
All suggestions are welcome for the first three SDGs: No Poverty, Zero Hunger and Good Health and Wellbeing. The books must be in one of the 6 UN languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish. Post your suggested titles on the IBBY Ireland Facebook page to be passed on to the SDG Book Club. Thank you!
*The International Authors Forum, the European and International Booksellers Federation and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.
An evening of brilliant down-to-earth inspiration last night at the IBBY Ireland Annual Lecture. Deborah Soria of IBBY Italia told the story behind the Silent Books project, which started in 2011 with her simple desire to offer practical help to refugee children arriving on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa. Her vision has materialised into a library on the island and spawned projects all over the world that use IBBY’s travelling set of Silent Books. Deborah showed how the books have provided common ground and built friendships between islanders and refugees by offering a silent space where migrants are equals, not victims needing the help of do-gooders.
‘It’s a library for everyone. We can’t do things for migrants but for people. Migrants are people like others and have to be in the middle of everything else ... if you want to be famous, don’t come to Lampedusa. For me you’re just a person.’
Deborah’s love of silent books is shared, unsurprisingly, by IBBY Ireland Patron P.J. Lynch. The multi-award winning illustrator and former Laureate Na nÓg spoke of the power beyond words of pictures. More surprisingly, he admitted that he has yet to find the ‘courage’ to tell a story entirely in pictures. We look forward to it!
Liz Page, IBBY International Executive Director, shared some of the work of IBBY around the world, from ‘Growing Stories’ in Peru where children create stories around the planting of vegetables in their school gardens, to reading promotion in Zimbabwean schools and collecting folk tales in Nepal.
Rounding off Refugee Week at Dublin City University (DCU), Dr. Áine McGillicuddy, Director of the Centre for Translation and Textual Studies, described some of DCU’s initiatives as Ireland’s first University of Sanctuary where those seeking asylum are offered hospitality and support, including scholarships and a storytelling project.
A huge thank you to all the speakers for reminding us how children’s books can help us be and do better, and to DCU for providing the venue and support for a wonderful evening.
Wexford County Council in partnership with Creative Ireland, Visual Artist Ireland and Gorey School of Arts is delivering a series of Professional Development Workshops in County Wexford during Spring 2019, special rates are available to Wexford based artists. Please book early as places are limited.
These professional development training workshops support artists in their practice and aim to address artists’ specific business needs working in a professional environment. Workshops will cover areas such as marketing, securing funding, managing your accounts and individual mentoring sessions.
Theses workshops will be delivered in two venues: Wexford County Council, Carricklawn and Gorey Schools of Arts. See dates and times below.
HOW TO APPLY FOR FUNDING WITH NEVA ELLIOTT
Date: 4th March 2019
Fee: €20 (Wexford based artists)
For further details: https://visualartists.ie/professional-development-_/#!event/2019/3/4/how-to-apply-for-funding-with-neva-elliott
MANAGING YOUR ACCOUNTS WITH GABY SMYTH
Date: 1st April 2019
Fee: €20 (Wexford based artists)
For further details: https://visualartists.ie/professional-development-_/#!event/2019/4/1/managing-your-accounts
FINANCIAL ADVICE CLINIC FOR WEXFORD BASED ARTISTS WITH GABY SMYTH – PERSONAL SESSION
Date: 1st April 2019
Time: 13:45-14:00 / 14:00-14:15 / 14:15-14:30
Places: 1 person for each time slot
Fee: (Included in morning workshop ‘Managing your accounts’ with Gaby Smyth – limited slots available)
For further details: https://visualartists.ie/professional-development-_/#!event/2019/4/1/financial-advice-clinic-with-gaby-smyth-personal-session
GOREY SCHOOL OF ART
HOW TO PRESENT YOU AND YOUR WORK – DIGITAL MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS WITH EMMA DWYER
Date: 4th February 2019
Fee: €20 (Wexford based artists)
For further details: https://visualartists.ie/professional-development-_/#!event/2019/2/4/how-to-present-you-and-your-work-digital-marketing-and-communications
VISUAL ARTISTS CAFÉ
Find out about supports for visual artists in your local area.
Learn about current events and news from the visual arts world.
Hear from fellow artists in your are about their work and directions that they are exploring.
Date: 29th April 2019
Information clinic and workshops style event. Morning session includes presentations by Liz Burns (Wexford County Arts Officer), Paul Carter (Director of Gorey School of Arts) and VAI representative on opportunities for Wexford artists, locally, regionally and nationally.
Afternoon session will include a ‘Show & Tell’ event. This is a fast-paced presentation by up to 10 artists on their current work, areas of interest, or concepts that they are currently exploring in their practice. The format is also open to curators, writers, and artistic directors to show their current ideas or modes of engagement.
We were sorry to say goodbye to the children’s author and illustrator John Burningham, who passed away on 4 January at the age of 82. He was the author and illustrator of a number of the classic children’s titles of the 20th century, including: Borka, Mr. Grumpy’s Outing and Oi! Get off our Train.
His books have been well loved for years, not only for their beautiful artwork but also for the timeless insight and empathy they show for the world of a child. His 1984 book Granpa looks at the special relationship between a grandparent and child and sensitively addresses the issue of loss. Come Away from the Water, Shirley, published in 1977, shows us the internal world of a child in contrast with the language and intentions of less than attentive parents.
John Burningham came to illustration by accident after a chance meeting with a friend who was studying at the Central School of Art. His early work included puppets for animations and posters for London transport before he began writing and illustrating books for children. The success of these may be in part due to the way they leave a space between the image and the written narrative, allowing for an imaginative gap that can be filled by the reader.
Even at a point where he was well established in his career, John Burningham’s illustrations continued to develop. He was not afraid to experiment with media and produced more experimental titles - England (1992), Cloudland (1996) and France (1998) - in his later career.
John Burningham was married to the illustrator Helen Oxenbury for over 50 years. He was twice awarded the Kate Greenaway medal and in 2018 he and Helen Oxenbury were jointly awarded the BookTrust’s lifetime achievement award for their outstanding contribution to children’s literature.
Photo: IBBY Honour List recipients at the Athens Congress, including Máire Zepf, author of the picture book Ná Gabh ar Scoil! Also Honour-listed was Kevin Stevens for his young adult novel A Lonely Note.
It’s been a busy and fruitful year for IBBY Ireland with a new collection, a touring exhibition, award nominations and the establishment of the IBBY Ireland Annual Lecture.
Granted! We were delighted and grateful to receive Arts Council funding this year. One of the benefits has been our purchase of a set of Silent Books, the wordless international picture books that first came together on the island of Lampedusa for use by refugees and locals. The fifty books in IBBY Ireland’s set are part of the most recent 2017 collection and include Owl Bat Bat Owl by Irish illustrator and author Marie Louise Fitzpatrick. The set will be available for hire in the new year by anyone wanting to explore these stories beyond words. In 2018 such groups have included Syrian refugees who used the books to learn English; librarians; primary and secondary school teachers; school-home liaison workers, and people with disabilities.
Special Collection: this set of outstanding books for and about young people with disabilities toured Irish libraries in the spring. IBBY Ireland’s Tatyana Feeney and Debbie Thomas explored the books in workshops with primary school pupils, touching, signing, sniffing and discovering new ways of experiencing the world.
Nominations: IBBY Ireland has selected two nominees for the 2020 biennial Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international distinction for authors and illustrators of children's books. Who are they? Announcement in the new year!
East meets West around Children’s Books: at the biennial IBBY International Congress in Athens in September, IBBY Ireland President Jane O’Hanlon presented a poster on the benefits of the Irish Writers’ in Schools scheme, and Belfast-based storyteller Pat Ryan explored the many ‘Jack’ stories in Canadian folklore.
Reading rights and refugees: The IBBY Ireland Annual Lecture.
IBBY Ireland’s first annual lecture in February welcomed Wally de Doncker in one of the last engagements of his four-year presidency of IBBY International. The acclaimed Belgian author spoke of literacy as a human right and his vision that every child should have access to good books. For the 2019 Annual Lecture we are delighted to welcome Deborah Soria, the inspiration behind the Silent Books project on Lampedusa. All are invited to her talk on 1st Feb, 7pm at St Patrick’s College, DCU Drumcondra. More details to follow on the IBBY Ireland Facebook page.
Photo: Syrian children explore the Silent Books.
Following the successful Irish tour of the Silent Books in 2017, IBBY Ireland has acquired a set of the wordless picture books. Selected from six continents and updated over the last year, the collection now includes the wonderful Owl Bat Bat Owl by Irish illustrator and author Marie Louise Fitzpatrick.
The fifty books tell stories that transcend language and strengthen intercultural understanding, a cornerstone of IBBY’s vision in its seventy-six member countries. Whimsical, profound and gorgeous to look at, the picture books are superb springboards for creativity among diverse groups: from immigrants to artists and from toddlers to youth groups; from children in mainstream education to adults with special learning needs.
Refugees have used the books in family workshops. In an empowering role reversal, Syrian primary pupils in County Clare told the stories depicted in the Silent Books to an audience of their parents in order to practise their oral skills and to teach English to the mothers and fathers who don’t have the benefit of school immersion in the new language. Primary school pupils have also used the books to explore different cultures, create their own stories and invent new worlds from the books.
For anyone interested in using the Silent Books, these superb creative and educational tools will be available from IBBY Ireland in the new year. More details to follow.