Puppetry as ART
A Puppet Artist's Statement
To be a puppet artist is to set a visual feast in motion. I playfully explore story employing art forms popularized in 19th century Europe; toy theatres, pop-up books and crankies or scrolling backdrops. Though puppetry is largely performative, it is also a visual art, and the art I make for the shows can be removed from context and recreated to stand on its own, as a story frozen in time. For each of my puppet shows, I start with a seed, and then I engage in research, design, craft and finally, building. I explore various mediums and I discover new avenues of expression. Paper, cardboard, wood, fabric, paint, rubber stamping, illustration and sculpture all play significant material roles. A certain kind of magic happens in the cohesion of all the elements in my visual story making.
Fundamentally, I use color, character, and story to explore themes of greed, loss, and emotional and environmental stewardship. Some of these stories come to life, others simply have a moment in the sun to plant a seed for a larger tale. I am committed to using recycled and discarded materials as much as possible. My performances have all been created intentionally for the purpose of sharing with the public. If someone just happens by, they catch a song, and a cohesive visual scene- and perhaps this splash adds a bounce to their step- and renders the world slightly better.
Public art is fundamental to my vision and dreams, removing art from the confines of galleries and theatres and into parks, libraries and public squares allows all walks of life to enjoy. It has the power to pull out stories that connect us to place. It exits from behind closed doors and into community spaces. I direct my efforts and providing free performances for audiences by working contractually with libraries and schools. The beauty of puppetry is in its infinite permutations- and puppet-esque visual artwork that can live outside of a performance and still suggest a story. I believe art should surround us and envelop us in all its forms. It renders the mundane magical and extends our ideas of what is possible.