Ahead of the Milbi Festival later this year, the Dead Puppet Society team visited the region to meet with locals and teach the art of puppet making.
Educators and artists from around the region joined Creative Producer Matt Seery and Artistic Associate Helen Stephens from the Dead Puppet Society to learn about the techniques behind puppet making.
Dead Puppet Society Creative Producer Matt Seery said that the workshops held were for professional development of local educators and artists.
“The skills we shared are ones we have developed over 14 years or so and they are hopefully going to be used in classrooms and on stages here in Bundaberg,” Mr Seery said.
“Secondly, we’re sharing the sort of tools of our trade because we’re leading up to a big project here in Bundaberg called March of the Reef at the end of the year as part of Milbi Festival.
“While we’re going to be building and performing with a lot of our puppets, we need a lot of other puppets built here in the community to feature as well.”
For the Milbi Festival the team are looking to push the limits a little bit further than they ever has before and create some creatures that are much larger than what has previously been attempted.
The workshops will help to ensure there are enough hands on deck to create these creatures, with plans for a number of sea creatures, massive fish, two metre long reef sharks and sort of a showstopper, a sea turtle that is the size of a small car.
Dead Puppet Society Artistic Associate Helen Stephens said people in the community have now learnt about the puppet’s breath and lifeforce, sense of gravity and also their focus point where their intelligence lies and their eyes sit.
“We’ve taken them through a series of training exercises so that when we come back for the March of the Reef project at the end of the year, they will already know how to operate all of the puppets that they’ve made,” Ms Stephens said.
One of the workshop participants Michelle Pacey said they are looking forward to seeing how the community help to bring the puppets to life ahead of the festival later this year.
“I really like the fact that we did some puppeting techniques and learnt about the different ways that an inanimate object, which is a puppet, can have that spark of life,” Ms Pacey said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how the community as novices are able to bring those inanimate puppets to life.”