What’s On in the Chester Beatty Library from September to December 2015

We are very excited about our new programme of events including workshops for adults, teens and children as well as a film series for families and adults; lunch time talks and tours; free music events and our new temporary exhibition Wicked Wit: Darly’s Comic Prints (11 September 2015 – 14 February 2016).

Click here for our calendar of events

Dublin Festival of History_Clay Workshop__2       Song Of The Sea 2

Drop In Drawing   The Nightingale's Prayer 1

Images L to R: Georgian Decorations with Crafts2Cherish; Song of the Sea; drawing by Roxana Manouchehri and The Nightingale’s Prayer (Dublin Arab Film Festival).


Optical Toys with Paper Panther

croi_burrowes    grace_dolan

Animation Workshops 20-23 July 2015

In July animators from Paper Panther Productions joined the Library for a week of workshops with teens. Inspired by the Library’s collections, teens explored early Victorian optical toys and made their own phenakistoscopes. Check out some animations below.

elliot_hannah   alexander_pokhilo

baileigh_baldwin   aishah_aich

leo_collins   CONAL_balfe

patrick_gaffey   jamie_cunningham

manus_oconnor   ben_hyland

Summer at the Library

13-17 July and 20-25 July 2015

The Chester Beatty Library ran summer programmes for both children aged 6-11 years and teens aged 12-17 years. Here are some snapshots:

Silk Worm Summer Club

The Library teamed up with Irish Design 2015 during the week of the 13-17 July. On Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 July, Silk Worm Club participants worked with artist Liadain de Buitlear and designed dream catchers using yarn and recycled CDs. After drawing out their design on paper, the children wove the yarn onto the CD, making their brightly coloured designs come to life.  Artist Phil Stewart introduced children to shadow puppet making on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 July.

DSC_0009Later in the week, children made shadow puppets of all shapes and sizes out of paper.


At the end of the workshop all of the children put on a show using their shadow puppets – it was a fun way for them to exhibit their creations!

On Friday, the children visited the Design Hub for Irish Design 2015 in the Coach House, right next to the Library. First, they toured the Fresh Talent exhibition, and were introduced to up and coming young Irish designers and their work. Afterwards, they completed their own design challenge making useful tools with LED lights for different characters. Among the items designed were a moustache with a built-in light for a detective, a black cat with a light around its neck for a witch, and a lighted headband for a ninja. Thanks to Irish Design for hosting us – everyone had a great time!

Chester Beatty’s Creative Lab for Teens

The Creative Lab Club for Teens,teamed up with Padraig and Eimhin from Paper Panther Productions who introduced teens to animation.

The week commenced with a paper animation workshop on Monday. Teens made thaumatropes, which flip back and forth to make two images look like one, phenakistoscopes, which are circular discs that animate a picture by spinning it, and flipbooks.


A teen hard at work on their phenakistoscope


Flipping the thaumatrope back and forth

On Tuesday, teens made stop-motion animation using sand. The team set up light boards with some sand on top, and carefully moved the image slightly after every frame to create a short animated movie.


One of the films featured a samurai fighting a demon, inspired by the Chester Beatty’s The Tale of Oeyama; Japanese scrolls currently on display in the Arts of the Book gallery. After the end of a hard-fought battle, the samurai slays the demon and emerges triumphant from the rubble – all in the course of a few seconds!


The second film featured a dragon, an umbrella and hair monster and a flying elephant. After the dragon breathes fire on the two monsters, the flying elephant swoops down and destroys the dragon – once again, in just a few seconds.

Wednesday was stop-motion animation with clay. This workshop blended nicely into the next one scheduled on Thursday, which involved pixelation animation – stop-motion animation featuring people!


One group picked up where they left off Wednesday and combined stop-motion with pixelation. In their film, a masked teen club member played a giant, rising up from behind their clay village while the villagers cowered in fear.


The other group chose a different direction, animating a fight between a monster and a human. Paper lightning bolts and laser beams were used to lend effect to the film.

To finish off a busy week, the teen club went off-site on Saturday 25 July to explore the annual Dublin Maker event located in Trinity College Dublin.  This is an opportunity for makers to showcase their work ranging from robots, crafting, DIY projects, electronics and much more.  Dublin Maker is organised by TOG Hackerspace, Science Gallery Dublin, Science Hack Day Dublin, The Festival of Curiosity and SPIE (UCD) among others.  Teens then joined Catherine McGuinness in the Natural History Museum for a guided tour and discovered quirky, funny stories of the various animals on display.

All in all, it has been a fun two weeks at the Library! Why not check our What’s On for more events, including monthly Silk Worm and Teen Club events.

All pictures by Catherine Farmer