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Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
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The artist Tom Molloy moved to the Burren in Clare, and became interested in the work that botanists were doing in the area. In his artwork Oak, Molloy chose to draw leaves, rather than paint them, so that he could really focus attention on the appearance of the individual leaves.  All the leaves were from one particular oak tree. In all, he drew 96 leaves. 32 of these drawings are in the IMMA Collection. Each drawing shows the uniqueness of each leaf. But shown together, you can see the similarity which all the leaves have with each other. Look at the artwork closely—imagine how long it took to study and carefully draw each leaf.

What you will need:

  • Leaves
  • White paper
  • Pencils
  • Colouring pencils
  • A ruler

Make your own leaf collection – steps:

  • Begin by collecting as many different leaves from trees in your area.
  • Place them on a large white sheet of paper, looking closely at each one and the wonderful details of each leaf.
  • Now get a piece of A4 white paper. Using your ruler draw a grid dividing the page up into sections (like the squares on a maths copy book, but bigger).
  • Choose your favourite leaf and fill the grid up with a pencil drawing, a colour drawing and a rubbing of that leaf.


It won’t take long before you have a beautiful leaf collection of studies to hang on your wall.

Finally please share your results, your experiments, and artworks with the hashtag #ExploreratHome

About the Artist

Tom Molloy b.1964

Irish conceptual artist Tom Molloy studied at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. His practice combines the exploration of different media with a strong sense of social commitment. Concerned with themes of classification and reproduction, and the concept of the individual within a collective group, he works in series’ that emphasise the repeated labour of drawing and redrawing. Molloy has exhibited extensively since 1990.

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Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.