Got my first little bite of the Hamilton art scene this week, as I stumbled joyously into making some props for a local puppet theatre company, Studio Babette. Just a quick volunteer gig for now, but what a lot of fun! The show, Young Sophia, is based on the diary of Sophia MacNab, who was the daughter of Sir Allan Napier MacNab. MacNab was one of Canada’s first premiers and the original owner of Dundurn Castle, which is now a National Historic site. Young Sophia is being presented on September 26th at Dundurn Castle as part of their Straight from the Garden event.
The props I made — scenes, really, I’m not sure what the proper word for them would be — are two panels that will hang behind the table top stage where the puppeteers perform. They’re decorated on both sides; one side representing the garden fence outside the castle, and the other side representing scenes inside the castle.
The painting is of Lady MacNab, Sophia’s mother. Here is the original that I tried to replicate:
Oh, I had so much fun! I love constructing props; it feels like such a synergistic and harmonious way for all my various skills to come together (and just what my burgeoning stash of strange, interesting, and beautiful materials and findings was meant for). It’s so freeing to mix media so indiscriminately, to just use whatever works to achieve the right look. They’re flat pieces, built up on and of cardboard – one of our moving boxes, actually!
I used construction paper, pastels, pencil crayons, felt pen, watercolour paint, acrylic paint, water-soluble oil paint, hot glue, glue stick, tape and I’m sure other things I’ve forgotten. What a blast. What a mess, ha!
Anyway, I think they turned out pretty great – fingers crossed that the puppet folks like them too, and that this might lead to some more (paid) work with Studio Babette or their friends.
Ta ta for now!