I’ve just started to make some simple puppets for an online show which will be featuring soon on the artlog written by Clive Hicks Jenkins. Clive frequently works with folk mythology, particularly with Welsh legends and characters. His blog is on my side bar and is well worth a frequent peruse.
The theme of the show is folk tales, fairy tales, myths and legends, not a subject I usually work with, but I like to try something different every so often. Browsing on my computer to gather reference material I spotted some mummers wearing animal heads, which appealed, as I much prefer to work with animals in my art than humans, unless of course they are humans pretending to be animals, which is always an interesting interface. I particularly have always wanted wings and a tiger’s tail.
I wasn’t at all sure what I would make, but the remit is wide, and I appeared to have invented some characters via the mediums of the mummers and my collage box.
Delving into this magic box produced some materials which I have loosely put together to make some simple, flat, jointed puppets in the vein of shadow puppets. They will never be employed as puppets, as far as I know, unless I change my job perhaps, but I will photograph them looking suitably puppet like for the show, with shadows if I can manage it, and with their stories told too.
The puppets look quite creepy, but they are not all bad, don’t worry. Mummers, puppets, folk lore and all the rest of it are designed to unsettle us. These personages are going to have a mix of traits, and to represent a range of emotions; I haven’t decided on all the traits as yet, but basically they are are animal/Moon gods with a mix of roles in the world. And because I refuse to be completely dark, at least one of them will have to be the goddess of cake, pasta and chocolate, let alone books, artist’s materials and other good stuff.
The skull is a print on paper from one of my embroideries; the small fish was embroidered by a friend many years ago. I have polished up some old coins, threepenny bits, half pennies etc, with tomato sauce, which I may use too.
The goddess of The Sea. The pieces will, I hope, suggest more of their stories to me as I continue to make them. I was hoping not to involve stitch but some may creep in, there are pebbles and coins to attach, and I do love a bead.
I’ll post a reminder when the show is on Clive’s blog.