Residency in Zona Imaginaria, Proyecto Casa, Argentina

Pulgar the dog and his magic paw.

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* Children reading their book
* Children reading their book
* Tina Lawlor Mottram reading the book

My residency in Zona Imaginaria

Zona Imaginaria is an independent, not-for-profit organisation in Argentina.
* Tina Lawlor Mottram, Zona Imaginaria
My brief: to create a handmade book with Los Aprendices (the Apprentices) who live close to the house. Our book, based on the Salmon of Knowledge The Salmon of KnowledgeThe Salmon Of Knowledge from Irish mythology while adding a modern twist – our story was based on our experiences working together in the house. On arrival there was dog barking furiously behind every gate in the barrio (neighbourhood in Spanish).
I walked and chatted to neighbours and the children explained about their dogs. I thought the dogs might be lonely and want to escape. The children were adamant. “No! We don’t want our dog to leave; we don’t mind if he escapes for a while…”
And so Pulgar’s adventure started.

Pulgar’s magic paw, based on the Irish legend Fionn MacCumhail.

Made from recycled materials
We used all available materials, including recycled cardboard and prints made by previous artists, following in the cartonera style (so common in Brazil and Argentina due to the peso crisis) in order to reduce costs, to keep my carbon footprint in Zona as low as possible and also to enable me to add the original children’s drawings to the book. Currently the book is being designed in PDF format so that the children and their families can refer to it online. For the children, handling the original copy seemed magical, as their work was contained in it and as one original it held some of the magic of the story within its covers.

I began to tell the children about the story of The Salmon of Knowledge, the Irish hero Fionn MacCumhail and his dog Bran. They loved it! We drew the salmon swimming in the river Boyne, fed by 7 magic hazelnuts that fell from 9 ancient hazelnut trees. Every day we added a new image … and finally, they caught the salmon. Fionn was warned not to look in the Salmon’s eyes; they were magic and would cast a spell. He was also ordered not to eat any part of the fish, for whoever did that would gain all the knowledge in the world. Pulgar the dog and his magic paw.[/caption]Fionn started to cook the fish and noticed a bubble on the skin. He leaned over and burst it with his thumb.
OUCH! he cried because he burnt his thumb and stuck it in his mouth, by instinct. It was this way Fonn acquired all the knowledge in this world.
Now all that was left was for the dog of Chile Street to become a magical dog so he could return home, when he wanted to. If you want to know how, you will have to listen to the story of this book!
Thanks to local artist and Curator of Zona Imaginaria, Lucrecia Urbano, resident artist Leo Blanc, all the volunteers and most especially all the children who helped me to make the book.

Zona Imaginaria is an independent, not-for-profit organisation in Argentina.