The end of June is the deadline for Clive Hicks Jenkins’ and Peter Slight’s Online Puppet Challenge.
I really wanted to contribute to this so have been mulling it over for a while now. How? Why? What? The theme was “Myths and Legends” and I have chosen the legend of the Henham Dragon ( see my original post here)
I don’t have much time but enough to get some ideas down on paper, even if few of them actually get made and just researching another art form is a delight.
2D or 3D?
Because I am really a 2D artist I am starting with a simple articulated paper puppet. Clive makes beautiful articulated maquettes which he uses for his own work. These forms can be arranged in different positions and so acquire a curiously appealing life of their own.
They are not quite the same as shadow puppets but have the same feel about them. Shadow puppets from Turkey, India and China are sometimes painted on treated hide which makes the skins transparent, allowing the colours to glow when lit. See an article on the Karagoz puppet tradition in Turkey here.
Image by Tom Brosnahan who wrote the article. His website “Turkey Travel Planner” is one I will be returning to as we plan to get to Turkey next year.
I am not sure yet what exactly I will do but this is one of the forms I will be exploring.
The whole subject of puppets is fascinating and if I were to consider 3D I could look at the traditional marionette. I have never made one, but have using puppets as inspiration in my work a few times. I also made sample drawings for a version of Pinocchio many years ago.
Rough for Geppetto’s workshop. pencil drawing.
Pinocchio and Jiminy. Watercolour
For my research I had visited The Little Angel Theatre in Islington and taken a few photos. Yesterday on a rainy Bank Holiday Monday I found them again. It was all long before computers and digital photography and most interesting is the photo of the “inspiration” wall, a collection of magazine clippings, cards and real photos.
Photos from the Little Angel Theatre..more years ago than I care to remember.
It’s all so inspiring…. I am now wondering about a 3D Dragon.