Saturday, November 19, 2022

‘I brought the dream of flying’ exhibition at GOMA

 So rarely here, but I have some big news to share

‘I brought the dream of flying’ 
Corina Duyn 2022. Photo by Caroline Schofield

Corina Duyn & Caroline Schofield exhibition at GOMA. Supported by Waterford Healing Arts Trust, GOMA, and Creative Waterford

I brought the dream of flying…, a new exhibition by artists Corina Duyn and Caroline Schofield, will take place at GOMA Gallery of Modern Art, Waterford from 14 January to 11 February 2023.  Inspired by a broken-winged bird puppet which accompanied Corina when she moved to full-time nursing home care last year, the exhibition features work made in response to this move and illustrates the new collaborative creative process Corina has developed with Caroline as a result of her increasing disability.  A short tour of the exhibition, led by artist Pascale de Coninck, will take place at 2pm on Saturday 14 January, followed by the official opening at 3pm.  The exhibition is presented by Waterford Healing Arts Trust and GOMA, with funding from Creative Waterford.  Further details are available from and



Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Power of the Puppet lecture video

My apologies for rarely showing up here. I do write occasionally a short reflection on my Facebook page:

Today there was a longer post, which might be of interest:

The Power of the Puppet” Video-Lecture is now available on  High resolution. In English, with Spanish and English, and Dutch subtitles. ** 

Or on Arts+Health website :  with this introduction:

 “The Power of the Puppet is a video lecture by Corina Duyn documenting her 23 year long creative journey through chronic illness. The lecture focuses on her puppetry work.

Corina trained as a nurse and social care worker in her native Netherlands before moving to Ireland in 1989. An artist and puppet designer, Corina has been exploring the internal landscape of illness in her work since she was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) in 1998.

This video was initially created in 2021 for the Puppetry Therapy Diploma at the Muñecoterapia in Chile where Corina’s work forms part of their lecture series.

Here is a blog  with links to most of Corina’s work for those wanting to know more about the art and story in the video.

In English with Spanish (Translated by Myli Pincheira V. ) and English subtitles. Dutch subtitles added, translation by Rob Wijbenga. With thanks.

Thank you Emma from for embedding the lecture in their video archives. And the continued support from Puppets InTransit  Andrea and Polo. And Emma Fisher for helping me to Create the video.

The lecture is 49 minutes long. My voice and images of my work, mainly that of exploring ME through puppetry. All in small sections so can be watched in snippets.

** For those with ME and extreme sound sensitivity, there is only one section with music in the “Life Outside the Box” puppet project I facilitated in 2015. This section is 14 minutes in, lasting about 4 minutes.

The rest is just my (soft) voice. There is no fast moving imagery, except briefly in the “Life Ouside the box” video.

As there are subtitles throughout, the sound can be turned off completely if you wish.

(Image is screenshot of the video - puppet in a wheelchair in the garden)

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Puppet Making Course access details

As illness/ability are changing I have decided to make my PUPPET MAKING COURSE * free to access, although donations to help me fund my long term care needs are greatly appreciated. 

See Donate button at bottom of My Website page  Course was charged at €40 for individual students. For licensed use in universities/ colleges/organisations, special rates apply and PDF’s can be requested for printing purposes.

A 50 minute video lecture is available on request. Fee in line with lecture fees of interested colleges/universities and other groups.

See also a summary of my work in the previous post. “23 year long creative history of living with M.E.” 

*This course material was created by Corina Duyn and draws on four decades of experience. It is for your personal use only. Please do not share this course content […]; Having followed this course does not mean you can teach this course using my material. […] Thank you for your understanding.

Two girl puppets made by Corina Duyn - Puppet Making course
‘The Girls’ © Corina Duyn 2017

Following is a slightly edited ‘Welcome’ Document I used to email to new students. It contains all the needed information to create your own doll or puppet. PLEASE See webpage for a short summary of the course.  For links to more of my work in puppetry see: Puppetry webpage, or explore the many articles and images on this blog.



Thank you for registering for the Puppet Making Course created by © Corina Duyn.

The course consists of written and photographic instructions which can be viewed on ISSUU, as well as tutorial videos on Youtube. 

The links for all the course material are provided in this document (page), so please keep this safe.

If direct links to ISSUU do not work, please copy and paste the URL link, and preferably open in Google Chrome.

I hope you will enjoy embarking on this creative adventure.


When your puppet is complete, I love to see images of it.

With every best creative wish

Corina Duyn

September 2019

(Edited version Made Public October 2021)



Youtube channel (tuition videos are not public as yet)



Corina Duyn © 2019 

 Introduction and general information for your course:

  • Please read: Introduction and general guidelines in the 7 page document on ISSUU

In my course I recommend the use of white DAS air drying clay as other brands have different drying properties and may shrink too much which causes problems. DAS is very strong and can be used to sculpt very fine details.

Sculpting the Head

The videos and ISSUU documents are interchangeable between using glass eyes and creating sculpted eyes. I suggest you watch, and read both at each step of the sculpting process. The (2.04) indicate length of the videos Please make sure to watch the Youtube videos in HD

Hands and Feet: 

The videos and ISSUU books are interchangeable I suggest you watch, and read both at each step of the sculpting process. The (2.04) indicate length of the videos. Please make sure to watch the Youtube videos in HD

Body and Cross

Painting and clothing/hair suggestions:

Sunday, September 5, 2021

23 years long creative history living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.)

My dear followers.

At the end of 2020 I felt strongly that the ‘Invisible Octopus’ video poem was my last work exploring my then 22 years of life with the disabling chronic illness Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.). 
After my move into full time care (April 2020) and several online lecture events, I made the decision that it is time to retire from public engagement regarding my life and work. Including to take a step back from advocacy for better care and understanding of this so much contested illness. 
It has been a long, continuing, journey.

I truly hope that over the years my work brought an understanding of hidden illnesses to a wider public. As my journey has been well documented over the years, by myself, but also by many others, I hope that my work will live on. 

This blog post with links to my books, art, talks, podcast and videos has been created for this purpose. I have broken up the sections to reflect on significant creative times. So you can just go to the section you’d like to read or hear more about.

EDIT April 2022: A final lecture video has been made mainly about my puppetry and disability related work, initially for  Muñecoterapia, Chile. It is now made public it has English and Spanish subtitles. Thanks to Emma Fisher and Myli Pincheira.

To continue to access my creative mind I have gratefully accepting support from Waterford Healing Arts Trust. (WHAT). On a one-to-one basis I am gently exploring ways to create in the comfort of my room at Signature Nursing home. I am also doing some personal projects like my scrapbook photo album.
Many, many thanks to all whom have supported me. I could not have done this without you. I will update my blog, or my personal Facebook page (link at bottom)  if there is something I like to share with you. 
Be well.
With much gratitude. 

Corina, September 2021

 Early years, and Fantasy Folk

Always have been creative in one way or another. I made dolls clothes, drawings, messed around with clay. At the age of ten I made my first doll. Age fifteen, my first puppet. Read more

These two pieces were among many experiments in doll making during my teens while still living in my native Netherlands. During my late teens and until age 27, I studied and worked as nurse and social care worker. I remained creative and made various dolls and puppets. 

Moving to Ireland in 1989 saw the start of my creative career as full time Doll Artist with my company Fantasy Folk. This little sculpture from this time and even made it onto tv: A few other pieces of this era can be seen in the first slideshow on my webpage which chronicles my art. 

Shortly before illness changed my life I did a very big commission for Waterford Crystal:

I also did some teaching in a group home for teenagers. It was there that I became fully aware of the immense power of the arts. 

Illness changed my (creative) life (1998)

I became ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E. - in some countries unfortunately referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS, or ME/CFS ) in summer 1998. It totally changed my life, including my creative ability and output. I could no longer sculpt, hold my tools, or have the energy to do anything for longer than a few minutes. Yet my creative mind would not stop. As a result I unwittingly created a visual diary of my utterly changed life.

  • Images from the early years of illness can be see on my art page: Initially the theme was eggs, birds, and flight. 
  • In 2003 Artist David Begley recorded a short documentary about my creative life with illness: ‘Fit to Fly’ see or YouTube. Funded by Arts and Disability Forum.
  • A version of this was also recorded for RTÉ (our national broadcaster) see . They came to film again in 2018. These two segments are in the one video. With kind permission from RTÉ.

Books and art

  • In 2006 I wrote, designed and published my first book ‘Hatched - a creative journey through M.E.: The book is out of print but can be read for free, see page for link. It has very short poems and images of the first seven years of illness.
  • Katie Lincoln recorded the accompanying short documentary ‘Flight Path’  see This project was funded by Waterford County Council Arts Office.
  • In 2009 I wrote, illustrated and published  ‘Cirrus Chronicles’ a local fairy tale for all ages. Supported by an Artlinks Bursary.
  • In 2011 it created a tiny book called ‘Flying on Little Wings with images and wisdom from the birds.
    • Both can be read via links on the relevant webpages.
  • The biggest book project I undertook during 2013-2015 was my Artist Book in a box: ‘Into the Light. ( It was a response to doing a year of Disability Studies, my subsequent reading and research. The format - loose page in a box, came about during one of my retreats at Dzogchen Beara. 
  • This project was made possible through a Rehab grant; a small publishing grant from Waterford Arts Office, as well as a very successful crowd funding. Many thanks to all involved. Book Launched by Michael Harding, and Sr. Stan.
  • Some of my Art created during those years can be found in the slideshows When able to sculpt again, I started using roots. Perhaps depicting a sense of being more grounded in my reality.


From 2015 my creative life was invaded, and dictated by puppets. It transformed my life and art and am forever grateful!

In a nutshell:

I explored puppetry, disability and health in more detail. This led to the creation of The Girls, Póilin, ‘Dance of Life’.


  • The Reflection Girls exploring the reality of my disabled body through my reflection in the mirror.
  • Póilin came about to explore a ‘wheelchair-top-puppet’ as I could no longer handle my marionette puppets. This is a video of Póilin and our Travels to the UK. Póilin’s travels with M.E.
  • I created a small set of two animation figures which I called the The Dance of Life, however I have not yet been able to create the full video. This snippets gives the idea:

Exploring M.E. Through the ‘Octopus’

Podcasts about my journey with puppetry: 

Teaching puppet making 

Most recent documents and articles

Further reading/viewing:

Saturday, August 14, 2021

My first doll and puppet ever made

 It was a beautiful experience to hand over the little man in the basket yesterday to its new minder.

The cloth doll is obviously not my most amazing work, but perhaps the most significant. It is the first ever doll I made at the age of ten. Nearly 50 years ago.

I had already made a few dolls clothes by then on the singer sewing machine and also by hand. Some knitted. 

My parents were on holiday, not sure where my older siblings were, but in any case, I was staying with an aunt and uncle for a few weeks. Cycling to school every day. With the hep of my aunt I made this doll. It was the starting point of a life long doll making adventure. Initially using cloth, then paper mache heads, using a plastic mould and putting a nylon stocking over it. I started borrowing books from the library and learned more and more techniques. My mother following my lead. 

I made the first puppet at age 15, following the instruction of the first doll making book I bought. And still have.

The puppet body template, and some of the starting process of making the base of the head I still use in my online teachings tutorials.   I remember sitting at the dining table to cut the wooden body with tools my dad had given me for my previous year’s birthday. He passed away when I was 14.

Both these pieces are up for adoption. Email or message me if interested. 

Again, all funds raised are for future support, both living, and creatively.

The first doll’s clothes have faded a little over time when she was sitting on the window sill in my studio. Enjoying the morning sunshine. 

The clown puppet is a fully working marionette. Obviously my sculpting skills improved a great deal over the decades. But for a first attempt I am still quite proud of him. Including the detail in the clothing. 

Many thanks 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

“It happened on the Late Late Show (1993)”

As I am continuing to let go of some of my artworks/creations, here is a piece I made around 1991 as part of my Fantasy Folk Artist Dolls business. I made many tiny little people. Each and every one a unique piece. Often with acorns, shells, or (clay) leaves as hat or clothing. All created in response to living in Dromana House in Villierstown, Co. Waterford at the time. A place steeped in history, folklore and surrounded by nature. 

All are sold - and found homes all over the world. This is one I kept.

This piece made its appearance, and received a special mention by Gay Byrne, on the Late Late Enterprise Show in January 1993. I have a video clip of it, one day I’ll figure out how to share it.

This appearance was very much the start of my public sharing and selling of my work.

My work at the Late Late Enterprise Show, January 1993

The egg shaped basket was made from local rushes, woven around a balloon. I learned the craft of basket making with rushes at the little church in Villerstown, and was told; “You can’t weave around a balloon!” I did it anyway. 30 years later it is still intact. 

This sculpture is in my room at present, looking out the window, but I have decided to let it find a new forever home. It is ready for adoption. 

If you are interested to purchase this piece, please send me an email, or personal message via Facebook/WhatsApp (if you are in my contacts) with your offer. Its chosen home will be at my discretion.

Collection from Waterford would be preferable, but (overseas) courier can be organised, but might take me a while to sort.

A few other dolls and puppets are currently stored by Jane who kindly handled the sorting out of my little home with huge dedication. These works will be up for adoption in the near future.

(Please stop by here another day…)

I also have some puppets in my new home; The Girls, Johnny Dwyer, and Jimmy. All stored in their boxes. I do tell them that one day they will see the light again. In what capacity I don’t yet fully know. Perhaps during the suggested exhibition here at Signacare of my work later in the year.

The funds raised from sales of this piece and others, will help me pay for practical support to make the intended video-documentary of my work. (See previous blogpost)

When my brain allows, I am editing two previous written lectures (Cork, and Chile) into one, and publish this on my blog, with links to youtube, website, podcasts etc. to give a ‘tour’ of my work created during illness. 

I have an offer of help with further editing of the video I made for Cork Puppetry Festival. The final video will have subtitles in English. Perhaps with subtitles also in Spanish and Dutch, but if not, then I do hope to have the written document available in those languages. But all in its own good time….!

Stay tuned

PS, I think the email notifications of new blogpost will cease at some point in the near future - or so google told me - so if you like to stay up to date, you probably have to take the initiative to see if I have anything new added. Many thanks for your support. As ever.