At Fota house you will discover a wealth of visual inspiration. The house also resonates with the narratives of those who lived and worked there. This unit has been developed to inspire students in the early stages of an art project and to exploit both the visual and narrative opportunities offered by the house.

In order to gain the most from your visit we recommend a preparatory session in the classroom using the downloadable visual and written resources.

The aim is for students to develop a sketchbook or mood board where they can record their personal responses to the design of Fota and the domestic interior of the Regency period. The unit is intended to enable students to make connections with and develop themes relating to the house, gardens, arboretum and collection at Fota from observational sketches. Our objective is to encourage students to take a critical look at the architectural style of Fota and also the functional design of the house by observing and recording these elements with particular reference to texture and pattern and use of space in a big house. The resource can be used post visit to reinforce the learning experience.

Your visit

At Fota you and your students will be taken on a themed tour where you will be able to: compare and contrast the textures and patterns in the decoration of the elegant hall, drawing room and library with those in the service wing.

While this tour focuses mainly on pattern and texture – it also takes into account the scale, location and function of rooms. Your guide will encourage students to observe the materials used in decoration and design and look at how each area reflects the status, concerns and identity of those who lived and worked there.

Our workshop guide will then lead the students in a number of warm up exercises based on observational sketching.

After the tour students will have the opportunity to sketch the interior or exterior of the house and gardens.