The most incredible thing about the dArk nights

In the magic atmosphere of The Ark, a cultural centre for children in Temple bar, for seven consecutive Wednesdays at 6,30 pm, something very peculiar happened.

We started off as a bunch of 15-16 people, each one with different backgrounds, various expectations and a few feeble ideas about a story to write and illustrate in a bit more that one month and a half. It looked quite a difficult task to achieve, but we all embraced the challenge with enthusiasm, in part trusting Jole, who has this unique way to set free the most creative side of each individual she comes across, in part trusting ourselves, because sometimes we do.

The concept of having a talisman (a special object to rely on in order to find a solution in a difficult situation), introduced by Jole on the first day of the course, was already a bit of a revolution. In general, this idea that the inspiration can arrive from some other mysterious place or being outside ourselves, other than be fascinating, got lots of pressure out of us.

Another important revelation was “to allow yourself to play”, and to realize that if “you dare to” it makes things so much easier and more enjoyable that you start developing a taste for it.

In a few weeks there were no more 16 people in the art room, but many of them, from different places in time and space. All our characters came to visit us and got to know each other, and not only humans, but also butterflies, cats, birds and all of them, with their personalities, their favorite objects, their colors, were floating around us.

They met for the first time during an evening with Sharon, one of the workshop’s participants who facilitated one of the classes. Using her drama skills, Sharon really found a way to make our characters become tangible to ourselves and to the rest of the group.

Over the weeks they came out in different shapes, colours, dimensions and textures as each one of us developed a very different style.

For seven weeks, Jole has been the captain of a multicolored ark, aiming towards a land called Imagination. And it has been amazing to realize how it is all there, in that wonderland: the characters, the locations, the colors, the shades, the smells and the sounds. You start feeling part of those places, you can see them and you can almost touch them, and all of a sudden you are not you anymore but you are your character. And you find yourself questioning how he or she would act or re-act in some situations and what would happen next. In that very moment you realize that the story has taken off, that has a life of its own and that you are just the medium for it to come out and be visible and real to others. The images arrive, the words too and you start feeling something like fulfillment and thinking that what is happening could just be the most incredible thing.

A very enthusiastic partecipant