Saturday, July 21, 2012

Printmaking Puppets and Performance

A day of printmaking, puppets and performance saw Sussex Neighbourhood House as a very creative place, on Wednesday 11th July.

12 children gathered for the school holiday workshop, which began with printmaking - monoprints to be exact.

We explored what making monoprints was like. What effect you got, the pace at which you needed to work so the printing plate didn't dry to quickly and how much, or how little detail was transferred (from printing plate / block to paper).

Our printing plate was a piece of plastic, an A4 laminating sheet.

Some created scenes,

others exploring with shapes and colours. 

There were 2 'test prints' each.

Monoprint definition (selected from wikipedia): 
A monoprint is a single impression of an image made from a reprintable block... Only one impression may be produced, by painting on the block. 
Monoprints are known as the most painterly method among the printmaking techniques; it is essentially a printed painting. The characteristic of this method is that no two prints are alike. The beauty of this medium is also in its spontaneity and its combination of printmaking, painting and drawing media.

A guided meditation invited the artist's to picture themselves in the outdoors, what was around them, where were they sitting, what did they see? This was a good way to quieten thoughts and actions after the busy printmaking. They then thought of what they would like their puppet to be - what was their character?

This artist drew hers first in greylead, placing the drawing underneath her printing plate.

There were animals, people and unique monster like characters. 

Two artists decided that their characters would be their pets (and pet friend) who had just passed away. Another, her Mum's Dad, for her Mum - she did not meet him but knew her Mum would like it. 

As their prints dried the artist's were invited to write about their characters, to find out more about them. What did they like? What didn't they like? What was their name!

After a lunch break - much needed for busy artists - it was time to turn the prints into puppets.

At this point I would really like to thank and acknowledge the very talented artist Heri Dono and the Australian Print Workshop for introducing me to the monoprint / shadow puppet combo. Quite some years back I attended a workshop at APW with Heri, where I created my own monoprint shadow puppet. It is lovely to keep sharing this great style.

So, now came the time to cut-out the characters, releasing them from their large paper sheets. 
'Moveable parts', such as arms, legs or tails! were cut and reconnected with string, to the main puppet and then onto bamboo sticks for moving. 

What fun and excitement!

In pairs, individually or in small groups the characters took to the screen. 
Some with elaborate storylines and others silently moving to music. 

A great day - thank you to all the artist's and my wonderful assistants.

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