Exhibit Of The Month 34

Kamishibai of Welsh fairy stories

Two views of the Kamishibai of Welsh fairy stories, a merging of two traditions; Kamishibai, the paper storytelling theatre from Japan loaded and ready to go with tales of the Welsh fair-folk.

Mythstories is a mixture of intangible stories and tangible two and three dimensional artworks so Kamishibai was an obvious area to explore. When Arts Council Wales offered funding for Curator Dez Quarréll to take time out in the Winter of 2008/9 to create a Kamishibai containing three Welsh tales, it was a no brainer, Dez jumped at the chance.

Used regularly in the museum and in outreach work, with school groups and visitors, new tales have been added to the repertoire since, and it has spawned many clones across Wales and the West Midlands.

Easy to make even with young children the story box inspires storytelling. It provides an aide memoire for the storyteller and a visual focus for the audience. Drawing pictures of each scene in the story fixes the tale in the memory and offers alternative points of interest to develop in the telling. Pictures also help storytellers avoid the perennial problem of items travelling inexplicably around the story-space; a cup left on a table cannot be picked up from the draining board, once drawn it’s a lot more difficult to forget just where things are!

Come to the museum for a closer look and then have a go at creating your own Kamishibai.

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