Pre my rant.(see below) and therefore for light relief, light being the right word .These are shadow puppets made with Helen Binyon, master of the this poetic art (and daughter of Laurence Binyon the poet.) At Corsham there was quite a network of relations of people who moved in intellectual and artistic communities. Shadow puppets are vastly underrated in my opinion, the performances, with music and sound can be delicate and moving. They are a bit difficult to use in schools unless you have a friendly electrician because you do need the light below the screen. The flat jointed puppets are held against the flat cotton screen with horizontal rods. They are drawn onto cartridge paper then oiled with shellac to make them transparent, finally cut out. They are jointed i.e. the legs and tail of the tiger can move.The joints are made by making a largish knot in thick thread on a needle passing the needle through the two layers of paper and making another knot as close as you can to the paper on the other side. Dowel rods are fixed on with glue and a drawing pin.The audience sitting in front of the screen can’t see the rods and the people moving them. They are used in several countries notable Turkey and Indonesia. I have a collection of all sorts of puppets as I find it a fascinating art. The shadow puppets are really the forerunner of cinema. At Corsham we got together in groups to make our shadow plays which included writing and playing the music. I have never forgotten the magic of that evening when everyone premiered their little shows.drawingcorshad2

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