The exhibition consisted of 28 puppets. Each was a self-portrait and had been made by an immigrant to Denmark. Some had lived here decades, some a matter of weeks. Some came for work, some for love and some because they had no choice. But how and when did they feel like they belong here?
As the puppets were being made, the participants shared their stories of living in Denmark, when they feel like they belong and when they don’t. You could read exerts from these stories underneath each puppet. The stories have now been combined into a puppetry performance by TEATER animisme called Belonging.
Belonging – The Exhibition stood in Dokk 1 Aarhus 04.05.2021 – 06.06.2021
This Autumn one of our puppets featured in Hvid Støj’s Pap Kas. A show all about play and cardboard boxes for 0.5-2 year olds. It was a beautiful, playful and engaging show performed by two very talented actors. I went to see it with a friends 8month old and she was transfixed the whole 40 minutes. Here is a video of how I made the puppet.
Over the past two months I have been creating a new show with Aber Dabei. The piece explores the personal, political and social utopias, past and present in Scandinavia, the UK and former Yugoslavia. Working with artists from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Croatia and Serbia, ranging from musicians to visual artists, actors to puppeteers, we discovered we have much more in common than that what divides us.
Perhaps Utopia is not a place or a destination, but a way of being, a shared experience?
Over the past four weeks we have been delivering puppet making and storytelling workshops at The Red Cross Centre Jelling to asylum seekers. Using mixed materials to construct the form and paper to decorate the group created self portrait puppets and shared their stories of Belonging.
Whilst some felt there puppets belonged at a party or coaching boxing at a gym, others felt they did not belong anywhere.
This process was a pilot project for the workshops we will deliver as part of our 2020 project Belonging. If you would like to take part in a future workshop, please write to email@example.com.
I am currently making a new show with Teater Refleksion. It stars these two beauties and is all about ‘LOVE’. Love in all its glory. Falling in, falling out and all the emotions that go with it, hurt, betrayal, jealousy. It’s a mad cap, slap stick story with some really sharp puppetry and such a joy and a privilege to be part of the process.
The show will premier at the end of March, followed by a run at Teater Refleksion and presentation at the April Festival.
Over the last few months I have been building a pair of puppets inspired the sculpture of Gaicometti. Although they look similar, they are jointed differently to give a contrasting range of movement. It has been an excellent exercise in making techniques and developing my understanding of jointing. The puppets will now serve as workshop puppets when teaching manipulation.
Five days to teach puppetry and puppet making to students from Den Rytmiske I Nordkraft Aalborg.
We began the week with a workshop in puppetry and animation, trying lots of different styles and exercises. This included animating paper into lots of different creatures, building two person puppets from scrap materials and an object manipulation cabaret. This helped the students discover the versatility of puppetry and its ability to break the rules of reality and gravity.
The next two days were spent researching, designing, sculpting, jointing and decorating their puppets. It was quite a challenge to take the ideas from inside the head, to a drawing on the page and then into 3D form.
But all the students got stuck in and the results were fantastic. Best of all was they really took on board the learning from the first day. They made puppets with clear sight lines, open characters and well functioning controls.
Day four (today) was spent exploring ways of devising and creating puppet choreography. They learnt techniques such as creating moments, sequences, pedestrian and poetic movement, as well as, improvisation and direction. All showed a great sensitivity and creativity when building their scenes and results were really entertaining.
The final day will be used for rehearsal, before sharing with an audience. It will be so exciting to see how the audience reacts and how the students will feel performing with their puppets. I hope they will be super proud because they should be.
This autumn I will be creating two puppets inspired by the sculpture of Giacometti. They will appear to be identical but jointed differently so they move differently. I then hope to work with a dance artist to explore their movement potential. I began my research attending an exhibition of his work and sketching my designs.
Over the past few months I have been creating a little bear puppet. He is based on a puppet design by Mariann Aargard from Teater Refleksion and she has instructed me on the design, construction and decoration. It has been a fantastic learning process and I hope to make a short three minute skit with him this autumn to perform at parties and cabaret style events. Here are a few images from the process.