Peter Slight is an artist and maker who once wrote to me at the Artlog to ask whether I’d ever worked on the ‘ghost house’ of a certain amusement park. This question came as a bit of a surprise, because although there’s never been anything at the site to indicate I’d contributed to it, Peter had recognised something in my work that put him onto my trail. I confessed that I had been head designer on the attraction, and moreover had written the scenario and script for it too. Peter had long been a big fan of it, and thereafter we had a substantial e-mail correspondence about my work on the project. I dug out quite a stack of the original character designs for him, together with photographs of the work in progress at the studio where everything had been made. I think that one day Peter intends to write about the ghost house, but for the present it must remain shrouded in the shadows of my past. Please, ask no questions. Lips are sealed!
Since contacting me, Peter Slight has been a regular here at the Artlog, often leaving comments. During the recent posts I made on making a ‘cyclops’ glove-puppet, it was Peter who suggested a puppet-themed on-line exhibition, and I’ve agreed. This will be the third online exhibition at the Artlog, the first having been a call for maquettes, and the second, an exhibition for which contributors designed alphabets.
Peter will curate and run the event, and both of us have ideas about what we might make for it. We’re having quite a long run-up to it because it may take contributors some time to prepare their work. But we hope that this being such a process-driven challenge, makers might regularly share their progress with us in descriptions and images that Peter will post at the Artlog as we move toward the event. Submissions for the exhibition can be as complex as marionettes, or as simple as finger-puppets or toy-theatre-style paper cutout characters. Peter and I will also be compiling some puppet-themed posts, to offer inspiration.
Peter’s delightful three-dimensional work (see above) focuses quite strongly on the folkloric, and he’s suggested a folklore/mythology/fairy-tale driven theme for the puppet exhibition. But I shall leave it to him to formally make the call for submissions and give you the details. For now I’ll just add this link to a puppet I built back in June for The Mare’s Tale, the experience of which reawakened my life-long obsession with all things puppety. Perhaps for some of you, too, making a puppet will change the way you think and work. And that’s got to be a good thing, right?
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Wandered in a bit late here, but then I got to see your inspiration posts, especially the glove puppet one which got me thinking – more complex string marionettes I find a bit daunting. But yes please, count me in!
what a fantastic idea this is!! i love the blue man, also… i am putting on my thinking cap!!
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I’ve never made a puppet before, so I think it’s probably high time! May I join in?
; ) xo AM
Oh, absolutely. I was going to suggest it but didn’t want to put you under any pressure. You’re so imaginative in the way you use materials, I think you’rll be sure to surprise us and make something completely unexpected and inspiring. I loved your paper jewellery in the maquette open exhibition.
Amanda and I are looking forward to this chance to develop our ideas . Really exciting project. We’re definitely on board. Thanks for inviting us!
Great news, Matt. So pleased you’re both joining in on this. Peter Slight will be posting the formal call quite soon, but I’ll put down you and Amanda as already signed to the exhibition.
Hello Clive – Hollie Anderson here!
I’m game for this! I was having a conversation with a lady at the craft fair about puppets and thinking about articulated antlers… I’ve been dreaming about it to be honest. Thank you so much for getting in touch with me, I’m terribly excited about this project, and its so nice to do something alongside other makers.
Thrilled to make your acquaintance,
Hello Hollie. Thank you so much for getting back to me. Shellie Byatt e-mailed me today praising your work and pointing the way to your website. I was blown away by what I saw there, so I’m delighted that you’re going to produce something for the exhibition, and I know Peter will be too. Please stay in touch with us once you get underway with your puppet, so that we can post about work in progress, which I think will be particularly interesting on such a process-led project. You already have my e-mail address, and Peter will post his when he makes the call for submissions, which I think will be very soon. (This post has just been to introduce Peter as project-curator.) Once we’re underway and we’ve heard from those who want to take part, one of us will make a post to introduce the contributors. I think we’re all going to get a lot out of this exhibition.
Please count me in as well, Phillipa’s puppet and your dandy Cyclops had me itching to make a few of my own, now I haven’t an excuse not to.
Great to hear from you Leonard, and I’m delighted to know that you’re jointing this adventure. I know your work on the maquette project was an inspiration to many, and so I’m agog to see what your’e going to do with this challenge.
That’s sweet of you.
Hoping for, rooting for, a mytho-folkish-fairy theme. Seems like many of your readers, like myself, are drawn to these timeless narratives.
BTW, Peter’s work is wonderful , I love the little blue antlered fellow.
I think you can depend on the theme being what you most wish for! We’re all singing from the same sheet here.
Yay! The Artlog online exhibitions have been the most fantastic fun so I’m glad there’s another one coming along, although *gulp*, I’ve never made a puppet before. Really looking forward to getting stuck in though, Clive’s puppet posts have really whetted my appetite. I appreciated how the previous alphabet themed exhibition gave me a focused project to work on with other people and I got so much out of it, in fact I think it sparked off some of my best work, so here’s to the new challenge!
Great to have you on board. Phil. Now which direction will you go in I wonder.
Whoo hoo! I’ve dusted off the sewing machine ready for action!
Wait for the ‘Off’. We need Peter to fire the starting gun.
Ooh, how exciting! 😀
So that’s a ‘Yes’ then?
I’m absolutely in! 🙂 Yippee!! xx
Excellent. We’re off the starting blocks!
Oh this is really, really exciting….and folklore fairy tale stuff is just my thing! Hooray! Looking forward to Peter’s introduction to the puppet challenge!
I know he’s getting ready to launch. Hold onto your hat!
Thank you for the introduction Clive! 🙂
I really hope this will be of interest to some of the Artlog readers,
it should be a fun little project for any one who wishes to take part,
and will hopefully cause some creative sparks to fly!
Righto, I’d better get cracking on that first post then!
I don’t see a link but assume this is you: http://peterslight.blogspot.com/… Looking forward to another e-show!
That is indeed Peter’s site. (And that of his wife, Sarah, as they work together.) I didn’t put a link because he hasn’t updated for the longest time. Maybe this project will get him going again.