Winged or blessed with aerial abilities, dragons have fascinated us since the beginning of time.

During this creative arts workshop, children will travel from ancient China to pre-Columbian America, all the way through the Middle-East, Africa and Europe as they learn more about the mythes surrounding these mysterious creatures. They’ll enjoy drawing and painting their own choice of dragons in vivid colors.

 

A few words on dragons

It appears to be difficult to determine precisely the geographical or historical origins of dragons. Their presence in the imagination of mankind seems to precede the first major civilisations. They are found in myths and legends all around the world, where they are generally described as very large reptiles, often winged, with heavily clawed paws.

It is possible that tales referring to dragons first appeared in Africa, in Ancient Egypt with the mythe of the sun god Râ and the serpent Apophis’s continuous battle. Apophis symbolized chaos and destruction. It attempted to inflict harm onto Râ and was eventually played by Bastet, the sun god’s cat. Their struggle described the triumph of good over evil.

Stories about dragons would have then migrated via the Middle-East and India to South-East Asia, the to the Americas and finally to Europe.

Drapeau de la Dynastie Qing (1889-1912), Chine.

Dragons share in common their resemblance to snacks, a connection to water sources or water holes (and thus, to treasures), flying abilities, scale-cladded bodies and horns. They are often linked to storms.

In the West, dragons appear in Greek, Celtic and Scandinavian mythology, as fire-spitting winged creatures. They are very powerful, often hostile troublemakers that induce chaos wherever they go. They must be fought, like Apollo’s python or Fafnir, the dragon in the Scandinavian Edda.

In Asia, dragons are also dangerous, but not as harmful and violent as their European counterparts.  Asian dragons don’t have singes, but they do fly and have a slimmer silhouettes. They are associated with the forces of nature, as well as with power.

Buste du dieu aztèque “Serpent à Plumes” ou Quetzalcóatl à Teotihuacán, Mexique.

In pre-Columbian South-America, for instance, in Aztec culture dragons are snakes. A few Aztec gods are “snake” divinities: the Feathered Snake (Quetzalcóatl), the Cloud Snake (Mixcoatl) or  the Woman Snake (Cihuacóatl).

In recent popular fantasy, a few dragons seem to have been tamed by heroes of mainstream fiction, such as Draco in the movie “Dragonheart” or Elliot, the invisible friend of the little boy Peter in “Peter’s Dragon”.

 

Practical information

Date: Saturday 25 February 2017

Time: 14:00 to 16:30

Ages: This workshop is recommended for children from 6 to 12 years old.

Location: Atelier du Square, rue François Bonivard 4, 1201 Geneva. Click here to see map.

Fee*: CHF 55.- per child, materials and snack included, for the 2h30 workshop.

Enrolment : Please download the enrolment sheet here. Complete it and scan or take a picture of it and return to eurydice@arts-expression.ch. Payments are due on signature of the enrolment sheet. Thank you.

Information : Eurydice Labaki, eurydice@arts-expression.ch, +41 (0) 78 696 12 45