April 2021 and it’s the time of year to prepare for our annual exhibition. Normally we are full steam ahead to have a big celebration opening with all of the children and their friends and family in Rua Red. We usually have sweets, treats and give the Leah Kelly award to two children, one from each of the Thursday and Saturday Doodle Bug classes in Rua Red. Last year, on the 12th of March, we were in the middle of preparing all the 2D and ceramic work for the exhibition, when everything was shut down and the exhibition couldn’t go ahead. Luckily in December of 2020 we were able to exhibit the ceramic pieces that had been glaze fired, but this year, everything is different.
This year all classes are virtual and online. We have three new permanent virtual classes and these children will also be joining us for the exhibition. We have children from as far afield as Armagh, Kilkenny and Cork attending Doodle Box online classes, we are delighted to welcome them to Rua Red for the first time.
The theme for this year’s exhibition is Irish mythology and legends. The children made pictures inspired by The Children of Lir, The Salmon of Knowledge, Dagda’s Orchard, The Morrigan and The Selkies. They have used chalk pastels, oil pastels, acrylic paint, watercolours, and collage. It’s so exciting to see the individuality in each piece, how every child’s personality shines through, given the same materials and inspiration each piece of art is unique.
Every year we remember a very special Doodle Bug, Leah Kelly. Leah was one of the original group of Doodle Box students that attended our very first summer camp many years ago, and she continued in the Saturday classes. Each year we give an award in her memory, to a child who has been kind, gentle and helpful to other students throughout the term. Because all classes have been virtual this year it would be both impossible and unfair to choose any two children as recipients. All the students are all winners as they have all triumphed at being artists, and their kindness towards each other and encouragement and support of each other has been inspiring. Doodle Box will still proudly support Leah’s parents in their fundraising for Aoibheann’s Pink Tie and Barrettstown.
The exhibition will be on display on the café wall in Rua Red, South Dublin Arts Centre for the month of May 2021. The café is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm, so do pop in for a coffee or a hot chocolate and take a look at the fantastic exhibition while you are there.
And finally congratulations to all the children, we are all so proud of you.