A summer of free events at the cool Breadwinner exhibition in Kilkenny Castle


Great place to cool down in the heat!

The Breadwinner Exhibition at the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle

Just in time for the summer holidays, an incredible exhibition in Kilkenny will run a series of free events, workshops and talks, taking audiences behind the scenes on Cartoon Saloon’s Irish Oscar© nominated film The Breadwinner.

Kilkenny’s Butler Gallery are currently presenting an interactive, multi-media exhibition providing an imaginative and accessible viewing of Cartoon Saloon’s movie-making process. Curated by Gallery Director Anna O’Sullivan, this is Butler Gallery’s second collaboration with Cartoon Saloon after the acclaimed Song of the Sea exhibition in 2015.  The exhibition has been designed by Steven McNamara of Roji Designs.

The film boasts the breathtaking hand-drawn animation that has made Kilkenny-based Cartoon Saloon one of the world’s most well-loved and respected animation studios. Directed by Nora Twomey, the film has been winning the hearts of audiences at home and around the world.

The exhibition features original drawings, storyboards, cutouts and animation as well as the exquisite watercolours and cutouts that serve as vibrant backdrops to the animated action. The exhibition experience also includes an immersion in the film’s world of Kabul, including marketplace images and aromas.

The Breadwinner: Artists Talk Series

A series of artist’s talks by Cartoon Saloon artists and directors will be held during the exhibition. There are talks scheduled for

•   Wednesday 4th July

•   Wednesday 11th July

•   Wednesday 18th July

Further details and times can be obtained from theButler Gallery.

The Breadwinner: Children’s Storytelling

Storytelling in the gallery, supported by Kilkenny County Libraries.

 5-9 year olds:

Storytelling with Hollie Kearns, Learning and Public Engagement Curator, Butler Gallery

With reading excerptsfrom the new graphic novel of The Breadwinner, and children's books from Afghanistan.

11am – 11.30am Fridays: July 6th, 13th & 20th in Butler Gallery

Ages 9+:

Excerpts from The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis, read by Catriona Kenneally, Loughboy Library Branch Librarian

3pm – 3.45pm Wednesdays: July 4th, 11th & 18th in Butler Gallery

Places are limited, booking via Eventbrite


The Breadwinner: Artist-in-Residence

An Artist-in-Residence will work with visitors to the gallery at the following times in July.

Tuesday 2 – 4pm – Paul Bokslag; Thursday 2 – 4pm – Paul Bokslag; Saturday 10am – 1pm & 2 – 5pm  - Cartoon Saloon Animator.

 Visitors will be able to work with the Artist in Residence to make their own cut-out designs inspired by the cut-out style populating the Story World in The Breadwinner. 

Paul Bokslag is a Callan based visual artist from the Netherlands. He is a co-founder and facilitator at KCAT Arts Centre. Cutting paper forms an important part of his work. He has shown his work in numerous exhibitions around Ireland and abroad, from wall based abstract pieces and posters to large room filling installations. www.

Rory O’Connor and Desiree Meade from Cartoon Saloon will be the artists in residence on alternate Saturdays.

The exhibition is audio-described for people who are blind or visually impairedthanks to a welcome partnership with ADI (Arts & Disability Ireland)

ADI and Butler Gallery, Kilkenny started a partnership in 2013 to provide access to visual art exhibitions at Butler Gallery to audiences with visual impairments. For the first time in Ireland audio description was made available with the Discovery Pen, a light handheld device, about the size of an ice-cream cone and similar in shape.  By using them, audiences who are blind and visually impaired are able to explore the art works through descriptions, artists’ statements and curatorial statements. The pens were debuted in Ireland at Butler Gallery, Kilkenny in 2013.

The Breadwinner Film Overview

The Breadwinner is the visually stunning and moving story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana cuts off her hair and dresses like a boy in order to support her family. With undaunted courage, Parvana draws strength from the fantastical stories she invents, as she embarks on a quest to find her father and reunite her family.

Equal parts thrilling and enchanting, The Breadwinner is an inspiring and luminouslyanimated tale about the power of stories to sustain hope and carry us through dark times. The story is based on the award-winning, best-selling young adult novel by Deborah Ellis.

Opening Hours:  Daily from 10am – 5pm - Admission is Free to all


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