Hidden amongst the foliage of Woodfordia lies the Artisan Camp, awaiting the arrival of excited travellers ready to unleash their creative energy. Most excited of all is our community of Giant Puppets. If you have come along to Woodford Folk Festival or The Planting in previous years you are bound to have seen our large friends joining in the festivities. We welcome everyone, including people of the giant variety. In fact, we rely on giants like The Elders and Viktor the Giant to protect Woodfordia and help it thrive. Although it is rare to find giants in today’s world, we are lucky enough to work with giant puppeteer Daniele Poidomani.
This year, The Planting is taking our friendship with The Giants one step further, and Daniele has agreed to create a Giant Puppetry workshop!
Daniele is excited to share his love and experiences of Giant Puppets with his students. His first introduction to this larger than life art form, was empowering and allowed him to express himself behind the cover of his new giant body. This workshop is for everyone, the bold and shy and everything in between. The beauty of Giant Puppetry is that you can release your inner performer, engage and play with people excited and inspired by what you have created.
“The nature of giant puppets eliminates what is arguably the greatest barrier for a performer: facing the audience. Once you’re comfortably hidden within the body of the puppet it becomes very easy to let yourself engage with people wanting to play and be amazed by you.”
Using a vast variety of materials including bamboo, fabric, rubber foam and variety of glues and fastening products you can expect to allow your inner handy-man to emerge. Daniele is constantly on the look out for sustainable materials that can be effectively used to produce quality Giant Puppets. The best part about the materials used throughout the workshop is their affordability – this means you can take this skill home and create your very own community of Giants for your next party, parade or even just to display around your home. It’s all about fun and creativity.
If you’re thinking more about the practical skills you’ll take away from this workshop rather than your new profession as a Giant Puppeteer, you will walk away with invaluable knowledge on sewing with industrial machines, creating mechanical contraptions, as well as modelling three-dimensional shapes from flat materials, which can be translated into costume design, professional props and set building, visual art sculptures and even creating low-budget art classes for kids.
Of course, depending on the materials and time spent creating your masterpiece, you may have a Giant Puppet accompanying you for years into the future, in fact Daniele has an 18 year old puppet still roaming around the world.
Daniele’s love affair with Giant Puppets started in 1998 in Melbourne. He was introduced to this giant art form through the innovative group Snuff Puppets. His passion and love for his art has only grown and developed into an exciting desire to share his knowledge and teach others the joy of creating and performing as a giant body. Drawing from real life people and events, fictional stories or performances and mythology, Daniele lets his imagination run wild in creating new Giants and their stories. In fact, if you have bumped into Daniele before who knows, you might have become inspiration for one of his characters… does Viktor’s nose remind you of anyone? In the master class, you will be making a human body puppet, so let those creative juices start flowing and get inspired.
We can’t wait to see you at The Planting 2017. If you would like to find out more or book a place at the ‘Giant Puppet Making and Performing Master Class’ click here. If you are interested in learning more about Daniele, or to get in contact with him, jump onto his website Memetica.