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Workshops with St. George and the Dragon

For the first time during these days, a specially prepared woodcut block was used for people with impaired vision. Pupils and teachers from the primary and technical schools took part in the two workshops. Zbigniew Biel, the author of the woodcut block, was present too, as were members of the project team.

The central character of the workshops was the individual from the woodcut – Saint George, a knight and dragon slayer. We spoke about the popular legends concerning the saint in the first centuries of Christianity, as well as explaining the ideas that have made the saint present in folk art, folklore, as well as in traditions past and present. Our conversations and activities were centred around the woodcut block and specially chosen artefacts from the collection of the Ethnographic Museum. We were very pleased that this unique woodcut block, which was created for the needs of the project, became a comprehensibleaid and medium to find out about Saint George as well as folk woodcuts.

The creation of the depiction of Saint George was accompanied by the rolling of paint on the block, feeling the weight of the block and the smell of the wood, the lightness of the paper and the texture of the print. The active participation in the various stages of preparing the woodcut print brought the lesser-known past traditions of folk art closer to the children present, and during the activities we made the first prints from the new woodcut block. The work was accompanied with exhilaration and eager questions from the participants.

The print from “the first pressing” was signed by the graphic artist Zbigniew Biel, and the pupils’ proposal to hang the picture in the scout room was met with approval. Saint George slaying the dragon, the patron of the scouts, will help these young people achieve their scouting ideals and themselves become knights of sorts.