Archives for the month of: June, 2013

Today a little crowd came together in the Gallery to play with the puppets. This morning we had one keen participant who read  about the workshop on KiwiKids. He immediately dragged his mum to the Gallery, only to find out that the workshop would be two hours later. So he made sure he had a place in it and came back at 1 o’clock with a friend as his mother was otherwise engaged.

All I can say is: I loved the workshop! It was a small group of 10 people, and all different ages. Observing how everybody interacted with the puppets gave me a few more ideas. Here only a little selection of images to give you an impression of our session.

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twofaced2 copy

Two-faced and I are starting to get worried. The Dedes seem to have too much fun at the Gallery and we feel a bit left out. They definitely wooed the staff. Each of the Dedes tried to adopt a staff member, but there weren’t enough staff members to go round, so only a few got lucky. I will have a hard time convincing them to come home with me next week.

Here is a link to the Gallery’s blog, so you can see what mischief they are getting up to :)



All the puppets are at the gallery. All but one!

I was short of one puppet stand and I had to decide which one to leave out. First of all I asked for a show of hands, but nobody volunteered. They are all very keen to be shown off to the world. They want to be famous and they believe being on display will finally bring about their big break. Never mind that they might be sold and that would mean they won’t be coming back to the house, will loose all their close friends, and we’ll never hear from them again. You certainly will have gathered by now they are not particularly good planners. They don’t worry about implications. They just live in the moment and dream of being famous.

Since no-one held their hand up, I decided to take Two-faced home. She is the only puppet I dislike, and I really mean it. Two-faced is not my thing!

Surprisingly, she didn’t mind hopping back in the box. I think she saw her chance to have me all to herself for two weeks. Now she is sitting on the cutting mat in the office and so far we haven’t spoken to each other. Two-faced just smiles, but I have no idea what she is thinking when she looks at me.

Last week I was interviewed by the local newspaper and the article appeared today. I have to say, the journalist captured the essence brilliantly.

I just re-publish the article here.

NST 25_6_13


I am back to normal! At least that is what I think :).

Unfortunately I have to own up to something. I actually don’t have any images from opening of the exhibition itself. I took a few pics when we finished setting up and a couple just before the guests arrived. This time I couldn’t afford to employ someone to photograph during the event like I did when I had the book launch. I noticed the gallery people were taking photographs though. I will ask if they can give me one to publish on the blog. Otherwise I will take some next Sunday when I will be at the Gallery all day and I am expecting a little crowd.

The image today shows quite nicely how the set up works. The puppets are placed on plinths in the middle of the room and as artworks they are back to their “No Body” status. The heads sit idly on their custom-made stands.

The images on the wall are from the blog and the text accompanying the image is placed below. I focussed on shorter pieces that tell a complete story so the visitors don’t have to read too much if they don’t feel like it. But by reading even just a few snippets they still get the idea of the puppet world. If you have followed the blog for a while you can make out the image where Sunny copied the artwork of ArtistatExit0, and by doing so created our mascot Lil’ Sculpture. Next to it is the image of the puppets doing a dharna on my doorstep. In all the pictures the puppets wear their robes and really come to life.

I have had a lot of very good comments about the presentation of the blog and my vivid imagination. I am not sure if the latter is a good thing, but I’ll take it as a compliment for now.

The image below shows two of my life-savers racing around setting up drinks and nibbles just before the guests arrived. It illustrates the size of the puppet heads. One comment I get quite often is that people assume the heads are bigger. But they are glove puppets after all. Most of them are between 12 and 15 cm high.


I also updated my Characters page today. I had to take mug shots of all the new puppets for the exhibition anyway. But as you might know, I don’t want to get to close to the newbies. I abstained from writing their short description, even though some of them are really pushy and want to tell me their stories :)

set up

Phew, the exhibition is finally underway. But what a nightmare it was to get there… I have to apologise for neglecting the blog for a little while. I honestly wanted to get back into writing daily in the build-up to the opening, but somehow it didn’t pan out like this. I won’t go into detail about the last week, that we had a visitor staying with us while our house didn’t have all the walls, or kitchen, and only one sink, or about the cold nights without insulation. The last 24 hours before The Opening were enough to make a puppet cry… if it still had the energy.

Friday we set the space up. What we thought would take us 3 hours took eight! Ah well, it is an acceptable misjudgement when it is your first exhibition. It was far more important that I had enough material to hang on the walls. I printed pictures and stories from the blog and they look really great on the wall. It’s a pity that the last thing I saw on Friday night was a glaring spelling mistake in the headline of the very first print-out the visitors will see. So it was a trip back to the office that night to make a new print-out and also to write an artist’s statement that I had totally forgotten about.

At least when I went to bed on Friday night I was sure everything was ready to go and there were only few minor things to do the next day before the guests would arrive for the opening.

I am a fortunate person. I only have migraines once every two years. Unfortunately, when I woke up on Saturday morning it was that day! My first thought was I can’t have one today so I popped a head-ache pill, totally forgetting that they don’t really agree with my stomach. Sure enough, it didn’t take long before I started throwing up. Hubby remarked jokingly that the pills were certainly 5 years past the best before date. I checked, and yes, the expiry date was March 08. It didn’t occur to  me to check at the time. They looked like the things I needed then and there.

But back to the story. A few hours of rest before the opening should have sorted me out, but the builders had asked us if they could put the gib board up on Saturday. Of course, as we want the house finished soon, we were happy for them to come in. How could I have known that I would have a migraine? So there wasn’t much reprieve with all the sawing and drilling and hammering going on in the other rooms of the house.

When we were finally ready to leave, we hopped in the car only to find the windscreen had cracked. And not just a tiny little crack but a huge, spiderweb crack right across the driver’s side. Something had hit it. All the wine for the opening was in the car and had to make it’s way to the Gallery. I tried to ring a friend to ask if she could pick me up. But both of my trusted friends who live close by were out and of course I had left my mobile phone at the office the night before, so I couldn’t ring them on theirs. I simply didn’t have their numbers.

Finally I got hold of one of them and yes, she would pick us up at 1pm. Thank goodness we stayed late the night before to finish everything. Otherwise I would have panicked by now but I felt far too seedy.

One o’clock came and went. No trusted friend in sight. Twenty past one and I was starting to get a bit nervous as said friend is usually very reliable. So I went to check the phone. Would you believe it? It was off the hook. So I rang my friend again. She was still at home and couldn’t find her car keys!

We made it in the end, and we made it before the guests arrived!

Ask me how it went. I can’t tell you. When it was all over, I went into the kitchen to thank my helpers and said “What a fizzer, eh!” All three of them looked at me as if I was at a different party. They thought it went very well.

I am pretty sure it was the Dedes. They tried to sabotage The Opening as they don’t want to be sold!

snotty nosed prince

Any puppet troupe needs to have a queen and though my lot have this lovely looking king he is still desperately looking for a mate. But for some strange reason I seem unable to create one :). This one here was destined to become his queen, but the result looks more like a snotty nosed, spoiled prince rather than a queen.

Ah well, the king will have to wait a little longer.


There is just over a week to go until the exhibition opening. Some press releases have been sent out. As I am so used to doing my own thing quietly, I am not not particularly well connected. Unfortunately that now shows when it comes to inviting media. I basically have no clue what to do. The staff at the gallery is very supportive, but of course I am not their only artist. Last night I sent a mayday email to a PR friend who is currently overseas and she too was very helpful. She got back to me immediately with some really good ideas. I can’t complain. Indeed, the feedback I get is overwhelmingly positive and it is amazing how this positivity can carry you.

I spoke to the gallery manager today and finally decided to print a few nice posts (images and text) from the blog to hang up on the walls. Does anybody have a favourite to suggest?

Two of my personal favourites are the “dharna” episode last year and the guy fawkes one. I just re-read them and honestly, I am so looking forward to settling back into our normal life once the exhibition is over and the house is all done up … Hopefully soon!

Today’s new puppet is Know-it-all. Outwardly he is quite loud, but if you get to know him better, it will soon be revealed that it is only a disguise. He tries to paper over his cracks by simply being noisier than anybody else.


Today I am introducing Cool Cat. With her paisley pattern she reminds me of a sixties “Bond girl”. We just had all the re-runs on TV here (this might have triggered the comparison). In the background is Devil’s Advocate. He has currently an affair with Fairy Godmother, as you might know. I have my doubts about the future of this relationship, he seems to be sizing up the new girl.


witch and screamer

Last night I finally finished my twenty puppets. They are in the office today, as I still have to coat them (for UV protection and to make them water restistant, so that one can wipe them down with a damp cloth). A psychologist certainly would have something to say about my last two creations who are lying here side by side.

I have one friend who can’t look at the puppets, not even the pretty ones. I don’t think that he will come to the exhibition opening, but if he does, I have to hide those two. To make sure that nobody is questioning my state of mind, I add another picture of my Magician, who I think looks very mellow.


So the puppets are complete, now I have to think, how I fill the wall space. There is really no rest for the wicked!