Mary French


Mary French has partnered with groups across Victoria to explore aspects of environment and local culture via the mediums of light, shadow and puppetry. She has either been a lead artist or coordinator of three projects for the Royal Children’s Hospital Mental Health Unit; working with communities in fire ravaged and drought affected areas to tell their stories.

Mary was co -creative producer of ‘Flock, a partnership with Strange Fruit in Horsham. In this project, she oversaw the production of one hundred and sixty articulating bird puppets made by students from nine Wimmera schools. Mary has gone on to collaborate with Strange Fruit to devise similar community engagement projects.

In 2009 Mary turned the Natimuk rotunda into a giant lantern and shadow performance space. Festivals, shire councils and schools have been keen to use these undervalued sites to create their own ‘Lantunda’ performances for special events under Mary’s guidance.

Following study at the Theatre of Light and Shadow in Germany in 2013, Mary has worked with young people and artists to devise innovative performances and installations. These include an intimate shadow performance in a black inflatable room-‘The Weirdest Day’ and ‘Fabulous Beasts’, an animated projection project linking environmental groups with people residing in three different shires, to investigate endangered and extinct local species.