Monday, August 11, 2014

The Puppet Challenge Puppets

My submission to the the Puppet Challenge at Clive Hicks-Jenkins' Artlog has been posted , so I'll share pictures here now. This project has gone on hold for a bit, as I am finishing up another bit of work with a deadline.

I do want to carry on, in particular I want to try depicting the magic in the Kalevala as shadow puppets: words, shadows, writing on a transparent ground and projecting it onto the screen...movement, color...

And I'm wondering how these shadow puppets might intersect my interest in "crankies." If you haven't heard that term, well, that's a post for another day, but there's a very nice example here.

Lemminkainen's mother, reminiscent of my great-aunt Hilma. I thought the plastic sewing snaps would be perfect, invisible joints, but it didn't quite work. Still, I think the little points of light are interesting, and wonder if they couldn't be put to intentional use in some way.

Raking Lemminkainen's dismembered body out of the river. Yes, she did get him put back together. In a new retelling of the Kalevala Lemminkainen wakes and asks how long he's been asleep; she answers "You'd have slept a lot longer if it weren't for your mother!"

Lemminkainenen getting hot under the collar, as usual, and his mother trying to persuade him not to go off and start a war. He seems to be missing a hand again.


Joukahainen challenged Vainamoinen to a duel of magic and got himself sung into a patch of quicksand. Finnish magic is largely a magic of incantations, spells and stories. For example, knowing and relating the story of the origin of iron serves as protection against iron weapons. Odd, considering that Finns, by and large, are a such a taciturn bunch!

The set-up: a light box affair made from an old windshield, Christmas lights and layers of tissue to diffuse the light. One of the jointed Vainamoinens is visible on the tabletop, next to Buster.

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