Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 10:23

Visitors to the Eden Project’s Art of Stories event, which takes place between May 24 and June 1, will be invited to collaborate with one of the UK’s best animators to create a giant, crowd-sourced animated story.

Jim Parkyn, whose credits include model-making and animation for Aardman’s Creature Comforts, Shaun the Sheep, Chicken Run and Pirates!, will work with Eden visitors to create an ambitious collaborative animation.

Jim and his team will set the theme for the story each day and people will be able to help write the script and make and animate models. Each day’s “episode” will then be uploaded to Eden’s YouTube channel ( with a final version edited together once the event ends on June 1.

Art of Stories at Eden will explore many different kinds of story-telling, and will give visitors the opportunity to learn about illustration from Axel Scheffler, the German artist known for his work with author Julia Donaldson on books such as The Gruffalo, The Snail and the Whale and Tiddler.

Axel will be giving workshops on Saturday May 24 at 1pm and 3pm. At 4.30pm on that day, he will be working alongside Daryl Shute, brand director at Magic Light Pictures, who adapted Axel’s work for the screen in animated versions of The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and Room on the Broom. Daryl will be talking about the challenges of adapting such a distinctive drawing style into 3D animation.

Axel will return to Eden for another workshop at 3pm on the following day, Sunday May 25.

Bruce Ingman, another acclaimed children’s illustrator, will also be on hand with workshops throughout the event. Bruce studied illustration at the Royal College of Art under regular Roald Dahl collaborator Quentin Blake and has illustrated for acclaimed children’s author Allan Ahlberg.

Comic artists will also be well represented at the Art of Stories, with Nick Brennan, Cornwall-based cartoonist for The Beano and The Dandy and Gary Northfield, who created The Beano’s Derek the Sheep strip as well as provided illustrations for the Horrible Histories books.

Experimental graphic novelist Gareth Brookes, who makes comics from unusual materials such as embroidery and press flowers, will also be running workshops. In 2012, Gareth won the inaugural First Graphic Novel Competition for his work in lino-cuts and embroidery The Black Project.

The Eden Project’s director of interpretation and author of the children’s books The Came to My Place Today and George Saves the World by Lunchtime, Jo Elworthy, will be giving workshops on how to write and publish children’s books alongside Ley Honor Roberts, who illustrated both books.

Art of Stories will also feature performance poetry by Cornish collective The Story Republic and story songs performed by singer-songwriter David Gibb, who is currently working on a new children’s album entitled Letters Through Your Door.

Eden’s own team of amazing story tellers will also be spinning yarns in the Mediterranean Biome’s Citrus Grove at midday and 2pm every day.

Kate Francis, Eden’s production coordinator, said: “Art of Stories at Eden will showcase the best of story-telling across a wide range of media, giving our visitors the chance to get hands-on with animation as well as learning from Axel Scheffler, one of the world’s best and most recognisable children’s illustrators, and some great authors, comic artists and story-tellers.”

All activities are included in the Eden Project admission price. Appearances by the special guests take place throughout the event, with the exception of Axel Scheffler, who is only on May 24 and 25, Bruce Ingman, who is only on May 26 and 27, and Gary Northfield, who is only on May 30 and 31. For a full schedule, please see