With Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s leadership looking pretty rocky at the moment, I thought I better jump in and post these photos of finger puppets of her and Opposition Leader Tony Abbot before she isn’t Prime Minister any more! They were made for the Women’s Health Magazine late last year and appeared in the January 2013 issue, illustrating a fluff article about Aussie excellence, in this case how good Australian politicians are at insulting each other in parliament.
The magazine first contracted me to make finger puppets of then PM Kevin Rudd and OL Tony Abbot and their deputies in June 2010, but almost the next day Rudd was rolled by Julia Gillard. Don’t want to be gazumped again!
There are few more photos of the puppets in my photoset at Flickr. Of course I had some fun doing silly things like this with them before they were shipped. Do I hear a resounding ‘ewww!’?
This new adult puppetry show, Murder by Erth, is now playing at the Sydney Festival until 19 January. It looks really interesting, and while Erth has made some amazing productions over the last few years to do with Australian natural history, it’s exciting to see them branching out into something contemporary, dark and different. Rod Primrose from Black Hole (whose Coop was one of the highlights of Unima 2008 for me) is the puppetry director.
Last April I made these four muppet characters for a student film project. I never saw the resulting video, so I can’t say how it went! The Mushroom King technically isn’t really a muppet; instead he was made to dangle on a string, and his mouth is moved remotely using a bike cable.
I’m trying out the WordPress gallery here. It annoys me that you cant’t see the tentacle monster’s one eye in the thumbnail, but once you click on the thumbnails the gallery viewer itself is quite cool. Time will tell if I persist with using the galleries!
I was sad to read that Nigel Triffit died on 20 July. Peter J. Wilson in The Space Between : The Art of Puppetry and Visual Theatre in Australia says‘Of the many outstanding individual contributors to the development of puppetry and visual theatre in Australia over the past thirty years, none stands out more than Nigel Triffit’. He details Triffit’s theatre history, but unfortunately there is little online to link to. Triffit created Momma’s Little Horror Show, Secrets, the Tap Dogs, the Eternity tap section of the Sydney 2000 Olympics and others.
Earlier in the year I posted about a number of events involving puppets and puppetry that were being planned for the Cultural Olympiad accompanying the London Olympics, so you might like to review them now the games are upon us. Some like OverWorlds and Underworlds have already taken place, but Godiva debuts tomorrow in Coventry, and then proceeds to London over the following week. You can follow them on @GodivaAwakes.
Just a reminder that the early bird period for registration fees for the 4th National Puppetry and Animatronics Summit in Australia will end in a few days. After 24 June you will have to pay the full rate, so jump in quickly.
The summit will be held in Melbourne, 5 – 8 July, 2012, and hosted by the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. The program is looking good, and I’m looking forward to it!
Lucas Ainsworth & Alyssa Hamel have a Kickstarter appeal going for these cool mechanical creatures made in kit form out of cardboard. The animal moves either with a manual winding mechanism, or by itself if you build in an additional the gear kit.
Flickr user avlxyz captured this nice photo of a bird puppet that looks and flaps it wings like a paper crane. It was appearing at Federation Square, Melbourne, during the Viva Victoria Festival 2012 in March, in celebration of cultural diversity. There’s a close up the birds head here.