Barking Spider Visual Theatre

by Sayraphim on May 29, 2011

I’ve been working with Barking Spider Visual Theatre on a creative development of their new show, Talking Head. It’s based on an original fairy tale they’ve written.

The creative development process was really interesting. We were installed in a room at the North Melbourne Town Hall for 2 weeks. Jason Lehane, one of the Barking Spider guys, was focused on a fairy tale he’d been reading, which is called The Juniper Tree (although it can be found under different names in different places). The first day we sat on the floor with massive bits of brown paper, writing everything we could think about the fairy tale and it’s main themes including birds and bones. Pene from Barking Spider took all these notes and went away to write a new, original story.

I came back a few days later to find we were having a workshop with Richard Bradshaw o_O. Richard Bradshaw! The man was on the first season of The Muppets with his shadow puppetry. Good lord! Learning from royalty! He was very charming and gentle and knew SO much about his craft! It was a pleasure to learn from him.

The next day I attended, it was wonderful to see the shadow puppet booth (created from triple thick cardboard that a Harley Davidson was shipped in) growing and developing.

Most of the story is told via shadow puppetry and narration, but one, pivotal image is told via a diorama. In this scene, our little hero becomes immortal through a good(ish) deed and then is tied by his mother to the roof of their house. Over winter, he is pecked by birds until all that is left is his skeleton and his head.

Jason and I talked about the diaorama he could see in his head for the scene, and the little figure that is tied to the roof. I spent the day building the diorama in cardboard and then went away to create the little Skeleton Boy.

This is him at home, hanging out in all his calmness. He’s built of fimo around a wire armature and then painted.

I took him in on the day of the Showcase and was presented with the completed diorama, finished and painted by Pene Bartlow and Caroline Wessel. I placed him on the roof and wired him it. It was jsut incredible to see in solid form something we’d been talking about all week…

It was a wonderful experience to work with such talented artists and I look forward to the next installment!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Penelope Bartlau May 30, 2011 at 12:10 am

Saraphim was AMAZING on our creative development of Talking Head. A great creative light and talent.
Thanks Miss S!

sayraphim May 30, 2011 at 12:59 am

Thank you Penelope! That’s so lovely! I had a ball working with you guys and I can’t wait to work with you all again 🙂

Jessie June 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Oh that looks just awesome! You always inspire me with your constant energy for projects!

Sayraphim June 4, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Hey Jessie! Thanks so much for your kind comment 🙂 It means a lot coming from you! xo

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