Thursday, 9 August 2018

The Snow Queen comes to The Regency Town House

We are happy to tell you that one of our Fabula artists, Dagmara Rudkin, is involved in the Arts Council funded project, re-imagining the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. Dagmara is going to work with other Polish-connected artists based in Brighton: poet, Maria Jastrzebska and composer Peter Copley. Together with director Mark Hewitt and photographer and film-maker Wendy Pye as well as other artists and partners, they will be working for the next 4 months on developing an immersive art and sound installation about the Snow Queen and issues of emigration, isolation and gender. 
Their pilot project will be revealed on the Winter Solstice, 21st of December at Basement of the renowned Regency Town House in Brighton. Here are a few images that show Dagmara's initial ideas - just to wet your appetite!

The making of the beans from The Flower Garden.

Cage prototype

Chair with roots

Crows - paper cut outs

Frozen - experiments

We're pleased to give you this taste of what's to come and we think you'll agree that it looks pretty exciting and promises to be a wonderful installation.
To find out more please look and follow the SnowQ blog documenting their journey. What are your thoughts on the Snow Queen? Please get in touch with Dagmara and her SnowQ partners.

Re-imagining the Snow Queen story

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Fabula Collective meets the Surrey Storytellers

A wonderful opportunity for us to connect with a group of talented storytellers was made possible by our six month exhibition at Hove Museum last year. 

Alastair K Daniel is a professional storyteller, educator and academic who visited our show and then posted a review on Twitter which prompted us to get in touch. After that followed a meeting at Hove Museum with Alastair and five other storytellers from the group 'The Surrey Storytellers': Trish Chiltern, Gemi-Iodanou, Belinda McKenna, Martin Hunka and Richard Trouncer.

The Surrey Tellers and Fabula members next to The Story Cabinet at Hove Museum

As visual artists we are always talking about stepping outside our comfort zone, trying new materials or subject matter to enliven our practice or take it in new directions. So imagine how enriching an experience it was for us to meet these very creative practitioners. They are storytellers like ourselves but with a completely different mode of delivery: storytellers in the oral tradition.

It was fascinating for us to hear how the tellers work. Each one in a slightly different way and, as you'd expect, with individual preferences for certain tales. 
Alastair Daniel spoke passionately about the need for storytelling and imaginative teaching in schools. He described his approach where he uses lots of drama with elaborate props to bring stories alive for children. This is a shared aim for many Fabula members, especially those who illustrate and run creative workshops for children. Belinda has an interest in more symbolic subject matter - telling stories that may be understood on different levels. Trish is a speech and language therapist who uses her story telling to great advantage in this work.  Richard tends to tell autobiographical stories - with humour, and Gemi's work also has autobiographical elements that draw upon her Greek heritage. 

It was interesting and useful for us to hear how our work was perceived by a group whose own work is so immersed in storytelling and the tellers were generous with their thoughts and comments. There was both useful sharing of thoughts on this particular exhibition and the potential to stir the beginnings of creative ideas for the future.

Dagmara Rudkin, in front of her work Henny Penny, explaining her activity sheet for children based on the story.
We were interested to hear just how reciprocal and connected their storytelling art is: how they will gauge the responses in the room and tell or change stories as they go along according to what they feel from their audience.  It sounded interactive and joyful. 
Belinda had a wonderful, theatrical idea about how our exhibits could be made to interact with each other if they each became part of a bigger story. This got us thinking about potential ways to enable another layer of storytelling when we curate future exhibitions or events.

The tellers had respect for the idea that stories belong to everyone and also no-one - that each story is always heard (or seen) in an individual way that is different each time it is heard. Each has their own way to set the scene or start the magic off - to get the listener into the realm of stories and also to bring them out of it. They told their story and interacted with us about ours. This was a creative conversation that made us feel a connection - surely the point of any story telling experience. 

Since then, we are pleased to tell you that Alastair K Daniel has had an article published in Facts and Fiction Magazine - the UK's premier story telling magazine - giving much more detail about our meeting at Hove Museum during the exhibition. 

Here is the link to see the article:

We very much enjoyed our afternoon with The Surrey Storytellers and we hope to meet with them again in the near future.  

Smile please!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Exhibition ends on Tuesday - last chance to see!

Last chance to see Fabula's work across three rooms in Hove Museum and The Wish Tree, The Story Cabinet and loads of drawings done in response to the exhibition.
The Wish Tree - our response to your wishes

Many Ways To Tell A Story  - Fabula Collective's exhibition at Hove Museum ends next Tuesday 9th May. We've enjoyed it so much! It's been wonderful to see all the comments in the comments book and we loved the wishes that you put in the wish box - and so we made this tree!

In case you didn't see it - we had a box on the mantlepiece for people to put their wishes in to give their response to the Story Cabinet: our collaborative piece based around fairy tales. The wishes we received ranged from requests for new fairy tales for us to make to personal wishes and wishes for the planet. All wishes have been thought of - some have been incorporated into the actual tree whilst others hang from the branches. Your response to the Wishbox inspired this work and will probably inspire yet further work for us as we may tackle individual fairy tale requests too at a later date - thank you for taking part. 

If you look closely at the tree you may see some feet, perhaps hands  - can you see a face? How many mushrooms can you find? There's still time to see! 

The fun is still continuing until Tuesday - tomorrow you can also catch children's Laureate Chris Riddell at the Museum where he will be doing some live drawing and a book signing.!an-afternoon-with-chris-riddell

Drawing event. 
This was a huge success and wonderful to see your drawings - thanks to everyone that took part and well done to Lara ( age 6) who won the prize draw at our event last Saturday!

Lara age 6

Many people drew in response to something in the museum - upstairs or downstairs. You can see these drawings until Sunday on display at the museum next to their inspiration
Drawing inspired by Somin Ahn's Three Little Pigs

Drawing inspired by Louise Dennis's Installation

Drawing inspired by Clara Weifu's Grandpa's Fantastic Garden
We also had drawings submitted that were sequential drawings and some where the artist was clearly making up a story of their own. A big thank you to everyone that joined in.

A selection of Drawings 

Workshop last weekend
Here's a selection of photos from last weekends workshop. It was great fun - children made all manner of beautiful creations from natural and recycled materials.  Watch out for more workshops by Fabula Collective in the future!

That mushroom needs some sparkle!

A small room with smartie curtains - who is sleeping in the bed?

A house with a special roof and a tower next door

This three-year-old concentrate to build a tower out of cardboard

A little room with three windows and a mouse to look at when you're in bed.

Fancy mushroom!

This character in her red hat sits on her reclining smartie chair and watches TV with her pet

The artist with her finished room - complete with disco ball

Mushrooms and a tree at the same time! - I wonder where this artist got the idea for this from?

So many ways to make characters

See you again soon!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Children's Event Today! - and What's Growing in Hove Museum?

At Hove Museum
Saturday 29th April 
from 12 - 4.30 pm
See an exhibition of all the fantastic drawings from people who have taken part in our drawing event. 

Win some art materials in the prize draw - children who entered their drawing will have their names drawn out of a hat. It's also not too late to draw and enter on the day!)

Enjoy a treasure hunt  that will take you all over the museum with pictures to match and clues to work out. When you've finished choose an ink stamp to use to decorate your treasure sheet.

Join in an Art and craft workshop making and drawing. Here's just one example of what you could make at the museum today!

Loads of natural and recycled materials to choose from. You can make a tower like this - who would live here?

Something else is going on... we are building something new for you to see on 29th. It's our response to your wishes in the wish box - but what will it become? Here are some visual clues....
Tiles - lots of them, covered in different materials.

Familiar materials, what will they become?
Tall structures developing...

Magical mushrooms! 

A dark forest of mushrooms - makes us want to play with scale and story. What could happen here?

Detail of pattern. Mushrooms lined up have character of their own.

A close up. Big mushroom!

But it grew into more than this - it grew even bigger than this!

Come and see!

Friday, 21 April 2017

One Week Left To Join In!

Our drawing event is on until (and including) next Saturday 29th April.  Come along to Hove Museum and draw, draw, draw! We have made some frames for you to use if you would like. Then children can have their drawing entered into a prize draw to win art materials on April 29th. 

Anyone can enter our Instagram exhibition. Put it on yourself at #fabulacollective or leave your drawings at the museum and we will put them on Instagram for you and also exhibit them in the galleries on our: 

Children's fun day at Hove Museum on 

29th April from 12 - 4.30pm.  

As well as the prize draw there will be a treasure hunt and an art and craft workshops to join in with and Fabula members will be there to meet you all. 

Here are some of the great drawings we have had so far - to see more go to Instagram and search for #fabulacollective

Drawings by Layla, Andy, Eric, Billy, Gelareh and Catherine

Monday, 17 April 2017

Your Fabulous Drawings!

Some great examples below of drawings that have been done at Hove Museum by people taking part in our drawing event. We have received all sorts of different responses from people of all ages who have been inspired to draw at the museum.

By Eric

Thank you for leaving your drawings at the museum - or emailing them to us - we will post them on Instagram at #fabulacollective and you can see them again there. Children taking part who have left their work at the museum will also be entered into a prize draw. Names will be pulled out of a hat at our event on 29th April to win art materials.

For further information go to

By Erin age 7

By Alfie age 13

You will be able to see the actual drawings exhibited at Hove Museum on April 29th - come and see if you can work out where the inspiration came from.

By Nghia

By Sam

By Evie aged 4
To look at the drawings on Instagram go to @fabulacollective or #fabulacollective. We're looking forward to seeing more of them too! 

Fabulous write up in The Argus!

Thanks to Edwin Gilson for this fabulous write up about our drawing event in The Argus on Friday - did you see it? It's great to have the support of The Argus and we hope that as many local people as possible will now be able to take part in our drawing event - and enter an online exhibition and prize draw. Then come to our children's fun day on April 29th with loads of fun activities planned. Then after that see Children's Laureate Chris Riddell at the museum on May 6th for more creative fun. There's lots going on at Hove Museum  - come and join in!  

For more information about these Fabula events please go to 
Information about Chris Riddells event can be found at:

Fabulous drawings shown are by Catherine, Gelareh and Eric - all inspired by exhibits at Hove Museum