Monday, 23 January 2017

Thank You So Much For Your Comments

Thanks to everyone who has already visited Many Ways To Tell A Story at Hove Museum. We've been delighted with the comments that have been left for us in the comments book  - it's wonderful to find out what you think of the exhibition. We thought we'd post a couple of comments here to show what the response has been and to say a big 'thank you'.

Views expressed in the comments book

Thanks to Elena (above) and to Emma and Natalie for these comments (below) - we're glad you enjoyed the show and thanks for sharing your thoughts about it. Just to answer your question - the Cinderella parts of The Story Cabinet were made by different Fabula artists and it's hard to say exactly how long these details took. The Story Cabinet altogether took about three months to make with a team of us doing it. It felt like we were working on it all the time for a while so it was a good job we loved making it!  It was fun coming up with ideas, working together and imagining what it would look like when it was finished. 

More comments - thank you for these

We are so excited to see that you have also been posting suggestions for us about new things to make for The Story Cabinet. A big thank you to everyone that has suggested something for us to add - we will be responding soon!

The exhibition Many Ways To Tell A Story is on at Hove Museum & Art Gallery until May 9th.
17 artists respond to stories old and new - loads to see for all ages and it's free!
The Argus Guide
The January 2017 issue of VIVA magazine page 58-59

Also, don't miss the next story themed creative workshop for children run by Fabula members on 28th January at 10.30 at Hove Museum and Art Gallery. See previous blog post here for a taste of what to expect.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Fabula Workshops at Hove Museum

The next workshop "Toy Stories"at Hove museum will be at 10.30 on Saturday 28th January. 

This is a creative workshop for children aged 7+ based on making story books inspired by characters in the toy collection and throughout the museum. Further details from:

Read about our previous two creative workshops to get an idea of what to expect!....


Before Christmas families enjoyed this story-themed workshop at Hove Museum. Everyone had seen our exhibition Many Ways To Tell A Story beforehand (still on until May 9th at Hove Museum) and they were ready for some of their own story making.  Grown ups joined in and it was a lively family session!

The tables were laden with making materials, wrapping papers, foil, sequins, glitter, ribbons and glue as well as an abundance of recycled toilet rolls! Time to make some Christmas crackers!

Families in the process of making and two children show their crackers off proudly

Fabula member Juliette Rajak kicked off the proceedings by explaining how these were going to be different from normal Christmas crackers - how the children could use small toy animals, worry dolls, pom poms and their imaginations for inspiration to help them come up with stories to put inside.

Some children did lots of writing while others mainly made images. You could almost see the brain activity as the children started thinking about how they were going to tackle it - and it was tackled in as many different ways as there were children in the room. Some told touching tales about animals inspired by the worry dolls. There were stories that were based on fairy tales - perhaps inspired by the exhibition. There was a three-dimensional story with a secret part, a comic strip with no words, a miniature book made to go into the cracker - and more.  The whole room was sparkling with children's ideas (and glitter)!

One child carefully writes her story
The story, written and illustrated
Then we explained how to make the crackers themselves - placing the cracker snap inside, wrapping, twisting, a little bit of ribbon and hey presto!

Each cracker was individually crafted and unique and decorated both inside and out.  The children seemed very pleased with what they had made and some crackers were taken from the workshop very carefully wrapped up - we suspected they were going to be special Christmas presents.

Wrapping up the story to hide it in the cracker
This workshop certainly got us in the Christmas mood - we hope you all had a happy Christmas!

Story Houses

If you've already been to our exhibition then you'll know about The Story Cabinet - our collaborative piece made predominantly from cardboard and based around fairy tales. Likewise this workshop was inspired by fairy tales and makes use of lots of cardboard!

A house is a great place to stage a story: many fairy tales feature a house in the woods. The house could be friendly, a place of safety, mysterious, dangerous or magical. It might be different on the inside - not what it seems from the outside. Houses are also the place where our real life stories take place and children play with miniature versions - dolls houses and wendy houses.

A snowy house with smoke coming out of the chimney and a bit of magic sparkle on the roof
The children didn't need much encouragement to stage their own stories. Using pens, papers, fabrics, glue and their imaginations they set to work.

The concentration was evident as they got involved in the details of their individual creations. Their grown-ups joined in and offered assistance - at times seeming that they wanted to make their own house too! But the children had very definite ideas about what should be included and what should not. This child (above and below) spent ages on the details getting it just right

A very detailed house with individual bricks drawn and decorated with coloured fabrics
This child (below) focussed on who lived in the house. A funny story emerged around a penguin in the shower, a frog eating flies and a female super hero!

Inside the house live the penguin and the frog...

...and the super hero (girl)

And then the outside was collaged and drawn to make a flower garden.

A sleeping bird peeps out of the door - making it four occupants of this house
The inside is hidden (but you can peep through the window) and the roof is put on. 
There was lovely relaxed atmosphere as everyone got into their creative zone. We all worked right up to the end of the session - there's never enough time when your ideas start flowing!

Then, just before we said goodbye, we lit the houses up with candles (battery operated!) and turned the lights off

The house looked magical when they were all lit up

The next workshop "Toy Stories"at the museum will be at 10.30 on Saturday 28th January - we hope you can come! 

This is a creative workshop for children aged 7+ based on making story books inspired by characters in the toy collection and throughout the museum. It  will be facilitated by Fabula members Juliette Rajak and Louise Dennis. Further details from:

You can buy tickets by telephoning the Events Booking line on 03000 290902 (Mon-Fri) or in person at any of our venues. You can also email if you have any queries. A £1.50 booking fee may apply to some events. Tickets cannot be reserved without payment.

£5 per child, members £4 per child, advance booking advisable. 7 years and over. 
Just bring your imagination!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Spooky Tales in The Museum!

You might expect to hear a story being told during our current exhibition Many Ways to Tell A Story at Hove Museum and sure enough...

Before Christmas families came to hear a ghost story read by writer and storyteller Charles Rudkin. He sat on an original Victorian chair placed next to the beautiful fireplace. Wearing a splendid red hat and a black velvet coat he fittingly looked every bit like a character from a Dickens novel.  

The stage was set and the audience were not disappointed as he read one of his stories from a collection entitled 'Hauntings in the Museum'. All three stories are inspired by the Hove Museum's collection and its past and each one is illustrated by Fabula artist, Dagmara Rudkin.  

Hauntings in the Museum by Charles Rudkin, illustrations by Dagmara Rudkin

Charles has an excellent voice for storytelling and really commands the attention of his listeners. He told them a story inspired by the Wizards Attic - about the evil Master Gorger who kidnapped souls of children. As the story unfolded - laughter, gasps and tears of fear came from the audience. Thankfully the Wizard came to the rescue in the end and everybody went home happily!

A double page spread from The Fiend in the Attic

There are two other stories that Charles did not read this time - one is inspired by a famous Amber Cup that can be seen upstairs in the Museum and the other takes inspiration from the history of the family who originally owned the building. 

A double page spread from The Major

Charles and Dagmara are called Scribekin when they work together as artist and writer. This is the second of their fantastic collaborations the first being the animated retelling of 'Henny Penny' illustrated by Dagmara Rudkin and written and narrated by Charles. We are reliably informed that there are more to come  - watch this space!

It is still possible to purchase the zine 'Hauntings in The Museum' from the museum shop. The illustrations above are just a small taster of Dagmara Rudkin's work and to see more come to Hove Museum & Art Gallery where she is currently exhibiting with Fabula Collective until 9th May.  Here you will be able to see her book and the hand-made puppets from the making of her animation - a retelling of the story of Henny Penny. This film is also being screened upstairs at Hove Museum throughout the exhibition.