I feel tremendously fortunate to get to facilitate Creative Activities with all sorts of people. I work with children and adults from a variety of different backgrounds, who come with a diverse range of needs, abilities and interests. I have devised workshops for those whose lives and careers are dedicated to Writing, Storytelling, Poetry and Art, as well as individuals and groups who initially identify as being completely uncreative. I have worked with people to help them hone specific skills, such as improving the way they use their voices whilst performing at poetry recitals... and others, who choose to engage in creative endeavour as a means to explore, express feelings, experiment, imagine, socialise, relax, build confidence, play and have fun. I have a beautiful van that I use to transport materials and costumes to schools, libraries, care centres, colleges, galleries, festivals, gatherings, oil rigs and other venues. I am happy to facilitate one off sessions or longer projects.
Some days I get to create beautiful bugs from recycled materials with children. On other days I may be found discussing the complexities of idea and story development with third level students working towards a Animation Degree.
I graduated from the National college of Art & Design in 2004 with a First Class BA (Hons) Degree in Art & Design Education. In 2005 I was awarded a scholarship to study at NUIG - Burren College of Art. where I received a Master Of Fine Arts Degree in 2007. I am a member of The Teaching Council Of Ireland, so am Garda Vetted. I am registered as Self Employed, so can furnish you with whatever invoices, Tax Clearance Numbers, receipts and other related documentation you require. I have taught regularly at Saint Brigid's School in Mullingar, which serves pupils with Special Needs, and at The Athlone Institute Of Technology as an Interactional Approaches (Art, Drama and Facilitation) Lecturer for students studying for Diplomas and Degrees in Childcare and Social Care Practice. In 2010 I wrote a chapter on Creative Group Facilitation for a book titled 'Creative Studies For The Caring Professions,' published by Gill & Macmillan. So, now.
'Paul's ability to understand, stimulate and engage with young people is fantastic. Many of our participants bring with them a mixed bag of social and emotional difficulties ranging from mild behavioural issues to the more extreme syndromes. Paul has shown time after time his ability to use his many talents and aptitudes to adapt to each situation and get the very best out participants.' - Charlotte Shields, Co-ordinator, Mullingar SCP
I usually facilitate workshops as myself, but sometimes it is appropriate to take on a character based on a real or imaginary person.
'Thank you so much Paul for the workshops you did for our students on the life of Vincent Van Gough.The students thoroughly enjoyed how you told the story of your life as Vincent Van Gough. The information you gave them was totally pitched at their level and made his life and times very real for them. Keep up the good work.' - Lorna Butler, Class Teacher, Saint Brigid's School, Mullingar
'First Fortnight are delighted to have had Paul Timoney in our festival programme the last two years. First Fortnight Festival is a mental health art themed festival that works to create coversation around mental health and also challenge prejudice, stigma and negative attitudes. Each year Paul creates a bespoke children's story and art workshops centred around mental health. Every year it is extremely popular and gives us an
opportunity to help shape attitudes around mental health at a key stage of development. Paul is able to work with both young people and adults so
the whole family gets involved which is brilliant! He appears to have boundless levels of energy so each of the three workshops he ran were of the
same quality and level of fun..' - Edel Doran, Events Coordinator, First Fortnight Festival, Dublin
PAST PROJECTS & ACTIVITIES
I facilitated the SAINT BRIGID'S CLOAK bookmaking project over a period of five weekly workshops with a group of eighteen pupils. I began by performing the original story of Saint Brigid's Cloak. Participants then spent two sessions making drawings and paintings that referred directly to, or were inspired by the tale. When we felt that there was enough such visual material, we arranged our illustrations in chronological order. We removed parts we did not need and made new pictures to fill in any bits that required inclusion. I asked the children to retell the story in their own words, and to try to find ways to incorporate any unusual images that didn't fit with the original narrative. What the pupils came up with was a stunningly beautiful, funny, unusual and eccentric adaptation. It had always been planned to create a printed version of the book to give to each contributor... but the project seemed to grow and expand, in much the same style as Saint Brigid's miraculous cape. The book was such a hit with the school community that we decided to produce 500 copies. These were sold over the course of the following months, and the proceeds donated to a fund which was used to purchase a new school bus.
I curated WAYS OF SEEING AND DOING, an exhibition of artwork by the pupils of Saint Brigid's School. It took place in The Atrium of the Westmeath County Council. The show comprised of many of the projects that I had facilitated with Art Classes, including paintings from the VISIT FROM VAN GOUGH workshops, which can be seen on the central image above.
I recently devised a workshop called STORY SPINNERS, which I presented at The Hullabaloo Children's Arts Festival in County Offaly and at
RTE's Cruinniú Na Cásca Celebration in Dublin. Participants begin by identifying some essential story making elements - characters, settings and obstacles for their characters to face. They make three three-minute drawings. The first is of a character. which can be a person, animal or thing of any sort. The second drawing is of a setting which can be real or imaginary. The third - an obstacle - can be serious or silly. The elements are arranged in three circles. Participants then rotate a Story-Spinning-Device (AKA a plastic bottle filled with wool and sparkles) to choose a character, setting and obstacle, which are incorporated into an improvised and hopefully somewhat coherent spontaneous collaborative story.
THE TELLER'S TALE is the title of a book that I wrote and illustrated. I presented the original drawings at an exhibition in Athone Library and performed the story for visitors, who were invited to make their own drawings and stories which they could add to the show.
THE STUCK HEDGEHOG is a book making project that I facilitated with fifteen children aged between six and twelve at Luan Gallery in Athlone. The book is made up of a series of short stories based on the premise that a hedgehog is trapped beneath a cattle grid. Each person had to use his or her imagination to invent strange and unusual ways for a hedgehog to get into... and hopefully out of... a cattle grid.
POETRY AND PICTURES is a workshop that I facilitated at Lingo Spoken Word Festival in Dublin. I showed participants some of my own work which combines imagery and verse. I then led a series activities which were designed to help people to access non-rational thought, in order to find some interesting phrases which might be interesting to turn into short poems. Each person created their own piece which was mounted on wood and covered with strong adhesive contact paper, so that it will survive for many years to come.
In THE MUSEUM OF MADE UP STUFF participants are given ordinary objects for which they asked to manufacture a variety of new, imaginative and novel functions, based on their shape, appearance and attributes. People can work individually or in groups to create a blurb and drawings to explain their favourite ideas. All the objects, writings and illustrations are brought together to form an unusual museum.
'CASA organises regular social activities for our members with disabilities. We are always on the lookout for new and interesting things to do with
the group and were delighted to book Paul Timoney for an event. He has since run a number of workshops with our youth group and they have always been extremely popular. The group love working with Paul - they get totally immersed in the activity and are engaged from start to finish.
Paul’s mix of storytelling, humour and improvisation keeps everyone entertained for the afternoon. He has an amazing ability to read a group
and work on their wavelength. I would highly recommend Paul's workshops. They are a fantastic way to spend an afternoon and this group
is always left wanting more.' - Rebecca Sheridan, Office Manager, CASA
'Recently I had Paul give a storytelling workshop to a group of ‘sceptical’ first year animation students. Right from the start he had their attention. He got them to open up, engage and develop their stories. He has a touch of genius in him. He got them to work really hard, yet they said, it was the most fun they’d had all year. A lot of laughter was heard coming out of their room during the workshop. Many weeks later they still mention how good his workshop was and ask ‘can he please come back again?' - Geraldine O'Reilly, Artist & Lecturer, AIT