Monday, October 16, 2006

Startling shapes: puppets

*A Javanese shadow puppet. For other shadow puppets, see here...

When I was little I used to wake my father up at 4 in the morning (I kid you not)and slip puppets on his hands. Barely awake, he would groggily begin to speak in the voices of "Monkey," (high pitched; excitable) and "Foxy," (a thick french-canadian accent, very calm and mature), our main puppet players. This was our morning ritual for many years! My father, one of the best storytellers I know, swears to this day that the puppets on his hands would use expressions and offer insights that he would be surprised by.

In honor of those mornings, here are some more images of traditional and contemporary puppets....

Traditional puppets (by artists from India):
*Leather puppet from Rajasthan, India, depicting Raven, a terrible villain. For some fascinating images of Indian leather puppets, see here.

*"Kathputli," typical Rajasthani marionettes. Gorgeous photograph by Ewan Bell.

Contemporary puppets (by artists from africa, europe, and the us):
*Giraffe puppets from "Tall Horse," a production by The Handspring Company, South Africa, featured in the current traveling exhibition, At Arms' Length: The Art of African Puppetry.

*Production images from a film by Pierre Huyghe: the 24 minute This is not a time for dreaming concerns Corbu's design of the Carpenter Center at Harvard. Huyghe's film was commissioned by the University in 2004, and is currently being exhibited at the Portland Art Museum in Porland, Oregon, until December 26, 2006.

*Head of a piece by the sculptor and marionette-maker Anne Chu. Watch for her upcoming exhibit at the Donald Young Gallery in Chicago.

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Blogger kstyle said...

This was really an amazing post. Thank you for sharing. I had no idea there was such art in puppetry and what a fun dad. k

12:37 PM  

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