A short film about making The Demon Mastiff in the Orphan of Zhao by the RSC with myself and Movement and Puppetry Director Will Tucket, film by James Ospray.
I had some wire mesh left over from a job and wanted to try sculpting more detail into the mesh. Inspired by the work of David Begbie, which I discovered in a gallery, wondering through Shad Thames back in 2003. It’s a great medium to leave and go back to when ever you want. This needs lots more work but I can just play with it when I want to practice life sculpting.
The biggest puppet yet. This Autumn, The Royal Shakespeare Company produced The Orphan of Zhao – Directed by Gregory Dorian, Design by Niki Turner and Movement and Puppetry Director Will Tucket. Although Will and I hadn’t met before, I had worked on some of the puppets for one of his previous shows, Faeries.
The Demon Mastiff Puppet had some very challenging scenes. Four legged puppets are no walk in the park and actors Chris Lew Kum Hoi, Siu Hun Li and Joan Iyiola took up the challenge becoming puppeteers in but a couple of months! It’s incredible hard work and amazing to watch them develop into a great puppeteering team with Will. The Mastiff puppet undergoes a lot of strain in his violent scenes and it’s hard work to design a puppet to endure the action. (Video on it’s way soon!).
Sebastian isn’t you’re average monster, he’s Amy’s best friend and happens to be made from all the clutter that ends up underneath her bed, where he lives. Sebastian enjoys combs, being read to by Amy, and feeling the wind in his tassels. Basti, started life as a mock up doll many months earlier and developed into the handsome specimen you see before you!
Sebastian Stars in ‘The Locked Door’ by Likely Story, coming to a school or theatre near you this autumn/winter.
Photos by Greg Wohead.
I was incredibly lucky this spring to fall in with the amazing Handspring company in there final weeks of production on ‘Crow’, which was on at the Greenwich Festival / Festival 2012 shortly before the Olympics. The Puppet designs were incredibly varied, each requiring a different approach to it’s functionality. It was an amazing experience to work with a different puppet company and have my eyes opened to a new style of puppetry that I hadn’t yet encountered.
It was a wonderful couple of months filled with wonderfully talented people. Here’s a short video, shot during the final weeks in the workshop.
The longer I work at Festivals the more I become driven to make art and installation from the rubbish and unwanted things we leave after the party’s over. One of the ideas I’m desperate to materialise and see happen is my fish. A school of multi-coloured, articulated fish suspended in the Woods at Latitude festival. It’s a festival I’ve been to many a time, but I’ve always felt more can be made of the incredible natural canvas that the wooded areas of Henham Park have to offer.
My multicolored school of fish will be made from hundreds of folded crisp packets (see image below), I’ve already enlisted the help of friends to collect packets but as soon as term time starts I’m going to hit my old primary and secondary schools with collection bins.
My other fishy idea is much bigger, he’s made of 7″ vinyls donated to me by my dear friend Colin who needed to clear some stock space on his Record Stall in Brick Lane. My plan is to form the vinyl into convex scale shapes piecing the body together. The rest of his details will be made by forming and bending more vinyl to make his face and fins. I might also add extra colour from waterproof fabric from discarded tents picked up at last years festivals.
I keep hoping that I’ll meet the right people that can offer me a way into displaying these at Latitude or indeed any other festival. If you can help me please drop me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org
I had the delight of accompanying my animals to exhibit in Louis Vuitton’s Montenapoleon store during Salone Internazionale del Mobile. It is by far the most lovely time I’d had with the Louis Vuitton team and hope to revisit Milan for design week next year. The city is filled with creativity and must join in the fun!