Cartoon Saloon WolfWalkers: The Exhibition

2 December 2020 – 30 April 2021

Butler Gallery continues its successful partnership with the immensely talented, Kilkenny-based, and four time Oscar© nominated Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, in an exhibition response to their new film WolfWalkers, that will coincide with the Irish premier, which wil be released in Ireland in October 2020.

The exhibition, designed by Stevan McNamara of Roji, will include core working drawings and backgrounds, and will highlight the strenghts and messages of this animated film whose story offers conflict, humour, pathos and resolution and is centered in medieval Kilkenny.

In a time of superstition and magic, when wolves are seen as demonic and nature an evil to be tamed, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn, comes to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last pack. But when Robyn saves a wild native girl, Mebh, their friendship leads her to discover the world of the WolfWalkers and transform her into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.

The most famous shape-shifters in Irish myths are the man-wolves of Ossory. These shape-shifters were the descendants of Laignech Fáelad, the ancestor of the kings of Ossory, whose medieval realm included most of County Kilkenny and County Laois.

WolfWalkers focuses on the conflict between individuals who seek to dominate nature and people who want to live in harmony with it. The former see themselves as masters of a land they’ve subdued, whereas the latter share a place in the natural world. That conflict is embodied visually in WolfWalkers in the division between the rectilinear buildings of Kilkenny and the sensually curving vegetation in the forest, a division that extends to the lines used to draw them.

As with previous collaborations with Cartoon Saloon, Butler Gallery will deliver an extensive programme of public engagement for adults and children and will include workshops, film screenings, storytelling and a Talk Series connecting the film to medieval Kilkenny.

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