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Talks with Practitioners series announced

Join Moving Parts Arts for our online 2021 series of 'Talks with Practitioners'. Find out about the work of talented and varied puppetry and visual theatre artists, whilst having the opportunity to ask your burning questions.

All sessions are free to book onto but there will be to opportunity to making a donation at the online event.

The focus of the 2021 talks series is digital puppetry. Digital puppetry can be many things and is very much open to interpretation. A live-streamed show may use real puppets against the backdrop of a green screen. A handheld camera following a puppet-led story may take the audience on a journey not possible in a seated theatre. The puppets in the piece may be built by a 3D printer, laser cutter or exist only in virtual reality. Stop-motion animation passages may be infused with live puppetry. Digital puppetry can be low-fi or slick and shiny; can mix old techniques with new techniques and has the potential to reach new audiences.

TALK 1: LAURA MATHEWS

Date: Tuesday 27th July 2021

Location: Online via Crowdcast

Time: 7pm (BST) | Approx. 45 mins

Cost: 'Pay What You Can' on the night by donation (booking essential)

Age recommendation: 16+ / adults


Laura Mathews designs and makes articulated animals sculptures and puppets. Their work focuses on bio-mimicry and creating truly convincing impressions of life, spending a huge amount of time designing each creature, studying the skeleton and muscular structures in depth.

Laura's fascination with animal mechanics started very young, always drawing wings, horses, cats, etc, with pivot points & locus lines to help in understanding of how they worked. Laura now makes wooden puppets & sculptures of realistically articulated animals for other people who share this obsession.

Laser cutting & digital design allows Laura to endlessly create & refine the patterns for puppets, without the limitations of cutting each tiny piece by hand. This allows the time and scope for developing ever more accurate & intricate work. 

In 2019 Laura was selected to be part of the Craft Council’s prestigious ‘Hothouse’ programme and was honoured to receive the ‘Developing Your Creative Practice’ award from Arts Council England.

TALK 2: LESLEY-ANNE ROSE

Date: Tuesday 3rd August 2021

Location: Online via Crowdcast

Time: 7pm (BST) | Approx. 45 mins

Cost: 'Pay What You Can' on the night by donation (booking essential)

Age recommendation: 16+ / adults


Lesley-anne Rose is an independent film maker specialising in stop motion puppet animation, based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. As well as having an interest in bizarre and surreal stories, Lesley-anne works with people from diverse and underrepresented communities to tell the stories less commonly told,  teach animation basics and show people how they can be an agent in their own work: work that is theirs rather than based on them.

Lesley-anne is currently making a BFI funded short film, has made commissions for Broadcast TV and BBC learning sites as well as working with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Tate Britain, GemArts, the NHS Trust, Newcastle University and other cultural organisations in the UK. 

Lesley-anne was the first ever receiver of the Moving Parts Stop Motion Animation Commission in 2017, which can be watched here.

TALK 3: NIK PALMER

Date: Tuesday 10th August 2021

Location: Online via Crowdcast

Time: 7pm (BST) | Approx. 45 mins

Cost: 'Pay What You Can' on the night by donation (booking essential)

Age recommendation: 16+ / adults


Nik Palmer has been surrounded by puppets his entire life. Born to Ray and Joan DaSilva, founders of the Norwich Puppet Theatre, Nik was taken on his first international tour at the age of six months. Now, 58 years later Nik is a multi-award winning puppeteer who has performed worldwide. 

Throughout his career Nik has worked his way through a multitude of puppet making techniques with range of movement always being central to the design process.

3 years ago Nik decided to explore what CAD and 3D printing technology could bring to puppet design and construction. This has resulted in some highly articulate and unique puppets named Filabods which have been selling worldwide over the last year.

The creative use of technology has always inspired Nik’s work as a maker, performer and musician and he has also been exploring the Arduino platform for motion control and to control immersive environments.

TALK 4: BRIAN HERRING

Date: Tuesday 17th August 2021

Location: Online via Crowdcast

Time: 7pm (BST) | Approx. 45 mins

Cost: 'Pay What You Can' on the night by donation (booking essential)

Age recommendation: 16+ / adults


Brian Herring is a puppeteer/performer who began his career with puppets quite by accident in ‘92 with Spitting Image.  

Since then his work has included: TV shows Wizadora, The Animal Magic Show, Mopatop’s Shop, Construction Site and The Hoobs for the Jim Henson Company, West End runs, national tours and rep productions of Little Shop of Horrors, the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, The Brit Awards and feature films such as Hellboy 2, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Prometheus. 

Brian is perhaps best known as the lead puppeteer for BB-8 in Star Wars VII-IX as well as numerous other puppets and animatronic creations throughout the saga.

He is currently working on the new series of Spitting Image.

For the full festival programme, see our What's On page by clicking here.

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