Poppet Project

The ACT Natimuk team are working in Bendigo over ten months to create a new aerial and projection performance centred on the iconic poppet head in Rosalind Park . This new work, one of the Regional Centre of Culture commissions, and supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, the Capital Theatre and the City of Greater Bendigo, aims to capture and express stories of Bendigo and its people. Partners in the project include the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, the Golden Dragon Museum, the Bendigo Historical Society and CreateAbility.

Poppet will be presented on Saturday October 20th

More on this project...


Poppet Post #4

The latest from team Poppet

Getting to the pointy end of the project now but still great opportunities for the local Bendigo community to get involved. There will be free school holiday Shadow Puppetry workshops and also a chance for people into fitness to be incorporated into a celebration of the Poppet Head as a ‘work out zone’ at the start of the performance. For up to date information about these go to – https://www.facebook.com/poppetbendigo/

Rigging of the Poppet Head will be taking place over four days from September 24th in preparation for starting aerial rehearsals on October 1st. If you are in town there will likely be activity on the Poppet Head from then until performance night on October 20th. Apologies to all the very fit people who regularly use a run up the Poppet Head stairs as part of their exercise regime. We would love you to be involved in the event however  – refer above!

There have been some terrific animation and shadow puppetry workshops at Camp Hill Primary School with the children learning about their local fauna from Karen Thomas of the Bendigo Field Naturalists Club. Participants in the community shadow workshops have also created and filmed some striking images.

If you can save the date – October 20th – we would love to see you at the Poppet event to view Bendigo in a new light and also perhaps to check out if this model of performance building is something you may interested in for your community.

(note: bad weather contingency October 21st)

Poppet Post #3

Community workshops in full swing

Exciting times – the shadow and  aerial  workshops have begun. Great to see the joy of experiencing (& sharing) new skills, bodies defying gravity and magical worlds created through light. The next sessions in both series are on Sunday August 26th & Sunday Sept 2nd respectively. Check out the Poppet facebook page for details. 

If you are planning on being in Bendigo for the Regional Arts Australia conference, Artlands, put the evening of Friday 12th of October in your calendar to see a Poppet ‘work in progress’ rehearsal. Where? …. Yes, on the poppet head in Rosalind Park.

Another story-shaping session is happening this Friday with a specific focus on our Dja Dja Wurrung collaboration.  This shared creative process hopefully guiding our way towards developing authentic content & expression of these intrinsic veins of this complex story of ‘a place’.

Meanwhile behind the scenes ‘skins’ are being constructed, projectors being sourced, caribiners ordered, copy written, paperwork signed, budgets scutinised …….

With about 8 weeks to go things are hotting up!

Poppet Post #2

Hey again from team Poppet!

Our June Creative Development was jam-packed with a range of activities, workshops and community connections. These included –

  • A light painting workshop run by projection artist Dave Jones with the CreateAbility performance group supported by Kate Stones & Sam Thomas
  • A descent by Dave & Jillian to the 9 levels of darkness at the Central Deborah Mine
  • A talking tram history tour taken by Mary, Verity & Jillian
  • An early morning catch-up with the young aerialists from ZFit
  • A wonderful information sharing session with the Bendigo Field Naturalists with a follow-up guided walk in the whipstick forest
  • A visit to the Bendigo Joss House Temple – the oldest Chinese Temple of traditional design in Australia and the only surviving temple in regional Victoria.

One major focus for this visit was a full day story-structure planning session with the core creative team. This included a review of all the ideas that have emerged thus far from research, our project partners, individual artistic strengths/passions, and community engagement; then a look at what is missing and a flexible plan for a way forward, including room for new discoveries.

Meanwhile other (perhaps less exciting to most!) essential ‘behind the scenes’ admin and project logistics work continues, lead by Poppet producer, Greg Pritchard.

Did you know?   The brush tailed phascogale is a local threatened marsupial and there is a nesting box project to help with their survival.

Keeping you in suspense – starting in August are some aerial-performance ‘taster’ workshops for interested community members 😉

Poppet Post #1

Hi from the team bringing you the Poppet project.

We would love to share with you this project as it evolves. For those who haven’t heard of it yet the Poppet project will see the creation of a new aerial performance, projection & sound spectacular on the iconic poppet head in the heart of Bendigo. Poppet is a Regional Centre of Culture commission being presented on October 20th 2018. Built into the project are a series of Creative Development periods with community in Bendigo. Local partners in the project include the Golden Dragon Museum, the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, the Bendigo Historical Society and CreateAbility.

We aim to gather a range of stories and lived experience of Bendigo, and work with community and artists to celebrate and share these on this iconic structure in the heart of Bendigo.

Thus far with visits in March & May we have gathered the artistic team, shared research, met up with partner organisations and ran some introductory workshops in shadow work and animation. With the help of our riggers we have also tested the skinning of the Poppet head to identify best method and materials to use. We will be projecting onto three sides of this tower. We also had a delightful morning gathering stories from members of the Bendigo Historical Society and recording some VoxPops in the street about life in Bendigo.

We are returning at the end of June and among other activities we aim to include some aerial workshops, a Walk on Country, and catching up with the local Field Naturalists.

We’ll keep you posted!

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