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Being in touch

We are in touch again, meeting in person, shaking hands, patting each other on the back for making it through this challenging year. Touch feels so precious now.

It is so fundamental and not always given as much importance as the senses of sight, sound, smell and taste.

Take a seat, look at your surroundings and observe the varied textures around you. Are they soft, spiky, smooth?
Touch the seat you are sitting on - how does it feel? Close your eyes, do you notice that things feel a little different
without actually looking at them? Warm to the touch. Smooth as silk.

Can you recall any other sayings that were in common use when you were young?
‘Touch has a memory’ (Keats)
It can be interesting to try to describe a memory of the feel of something.
A holiday in the sun, sand slipping through your fingers.
A garden in bloom, touching a rose petal.
In this envelope you will find prints of a selection of art works from the Crawford Art Gallery’s permanent collection, along with some suggested activities and art materials.

Surrounded by texture

 All images: Gillian Cussen and Inge Van Doorslaer, 2021, except where stated.


Kathy Prendergast, Hand, chalk pastel on paper,
Crawford Art Gallery Collection.


Jack B. Yeats, Returning from the Bathe Midday, 1948, oil on canvas,
Crawford Art Gallery Collection.


Sylvia Cooke-Collis, Potters Shed, oil on board,
Crawford Art Gallery Collection.


Soirle MacCana, Light and Shade Youghal, watercolour on paper,
Crawford Art Gallery Collection.

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Suggested Activities

Feel free to try any or all of the following suggestions. Use your sketchbook as much as possible.

Take some time to observe all the different textures around you.
Choose something with a texture that you like.
Try handling it with your eyes closed. How does it feel?
Is it soft, smooth, bumpy, warm or cold to the touch?

You can also experience texture by a technique called ‘rubbing’.
A rubbing is a simple printmaking process where you place a piece of
paper over a surface and rub gently over the covered texture with a soft
art material, like charcoal or crayon.
Greaseproof paper is great for picking up texture. You can also try other
papers as long as they are not too thick.
Cover a textured object, such as a table mat, a wicker basket..etc, with
the greaseproof paper and, turning the charcoal or crayon on its side,
gently rub it over the paper and see the texture emerge.
You can also take your materials outside and take a rubbing of an
interesting texture e.g a stone wall or the bark of a tree.
Using old newspapers as a background can give interesting effects.
You could even try doing a drawing over your rubbings for a layered

Can you think of any phrases associated with touch?
A touch of the sun, touch and go, touch wood.

List some memories of touch: The feel of a favourite dress, the warm
summer sun on your face, a familiar well worn cap.

There are many ways to stimulate your senses even through an art

Have a look at this interesting link:

Nowhere you couldn’t go

Do you remember
when you sat alone
in a hot lazy field
and thought about a place
millions of miles away
and you felt yourself
filling up with wonder
and the mystery of the thought?
The sky curved away
into a perfect dome
and you thought about a place
far beyond it
and something mysterious
stirred inside you.
You could hear the sounds
of the village
and you know them all
but there was something else
so huge and immense
that you got the strangest
It was scary
and it was exciting.
Do you remember?
It was summer.
It was childhood.
It was wonder.
It was you.

Pat Ingoldsby, from his collection ‘Poems so fresh and so new…Yahoo!

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T12 TNE6
Tel: 021 480 5042

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Thursday until 8.00pm

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*Second floor closes 15 minutes before closing
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