Something that brought me creative joy during lockdown last year has been the opening of my eyes to the puppet theater world, thanks to the residents of my ongoing puppet lab residency I am apart of at St. Ann's Warehouse. Through the utter resilience and necessity to keep creating, artists kept creating - which meant I had the joy of tuning into toy puppet theater from around the world, virtual performances (Poncili Creación and Bill's 44th by Andy and Dorothy), and even live shows: A water puppet theatre show in Hanoi early in the year when I got to travel, Robin Frohardt's "The Plastic Bag Store", Derek Fordjour and Nick Lehane's Flyaway.
For the residency, I'm currently working on a few wearable and nonwearable garment sculptures that I'm thinking of as little movement poems or vignettes. I've always felt of clothing as being alive and emotive and enjoyed the idea of garments that inspire movement, that in a sense puppeteer the human. I wanted these pieces to imbue my feelings of 2020: out-of-body, up-side-down, interiority, absence and presence, repetition, and general absurdity. A lot of my process has been to keep iterating and creating and experimenting. I feel that all of these experiments are as much apart of the work as any final creations.
Playing with outdoor see-saw movement with my patternmaking ruler.
"Opera mom" puppet in lovingly draped dress, part of an earlier project.
Playing with symmetry with different garment shapes.
Building a foot structure out of paper coin tubes.
Prototype of flattened starch jacket
Sketches of absurd garments
Prototype of inside-out sitting coat puppet
Experiments with fabric starch
small mockups of ideas around opening boxes as primary movement
Aluminum wire mesh structure and net tulle pants in progress
Initial body structure for sitting coat puppet that I tried to use as base for paper mache.
I admit, I was amused to have this fellow sitting on my Juki table.
Sewing many many many layers of tulle netting.
15-person pant gingerly standing upright in the studio.
Experimenting with Mary Ellen Beaudreau in Central Park with the 15-person pant.
Experimenting with shapes inspired by wind toys.
Small sewing test of layers of "tree trunk" body
Cutting 50 strips of various fabrics for concentric loops.