Curated by A Blanck Canvas X PuppetVision
Thursday 19 th October- Sunday 22 nd October, 2023
As a highlight of Puppet Mayhem 2 in October 2023, an enchanting Puppetry Museum was showcased. Curated by Philip Millar and Joe Blanck, this museum exhibited carefully selected pieces from Australian television, film, and stage productions. The collection boasted more than 100 puppets from esteemed workshops and creators, with significant contributions from companies like Polyglot, Bonkel, Lemony S, and Snuff Puppets.
Pieces from iconic productions like The Jungle Book, Aslan from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and The Hobbit were on display. The nostalgia of beloved TV characters such as Tuckerbag, Ozzie Ostrich, Lift Off puppets, and an Elephant from Playschool evoked fond memories for many.
Visitors witnessed the evolution of puppetry, from marionettes crafted in the 1950s to cutting-edge
technological giants. These include the creations of renowned animatronic creature company the
Creature Technology Company, including a glimpse of the Broadway success King Kong, and Walking with Dinosaurs.
And of course, ABC’s large- scale puppets were out in force, many of which were also performing. Among them, included the 5m high The Messenger, 10m long lionesque The Guardian, Don Quixote’s horse designed for the Australian Ballet, and The Falcon with a 10m long wingspan, recently created for Dubai 2020.
The Puppet Museum marked the first occasion when all these puppets converged in one place, weaving a beautiful narrative of puppetry. It showcased puppetry’s evolution and the ongoing transformations that continue to shape the future of puppetry arts in Melbourne and beyond.
This event was made possible thanks to the support of the Hobsons Bay City Council’s “Make it
Happen” grant and The Victorian Government’s Small and Medium Event Program through Business
A Blanck Canvas and Puppetvision extend our profound gratitude to the companies, artists, creators, and puppeteers who contributed to the success of Puppet Museum 2023. We empathize with the challenges of transporting aging and delicate puppets. Hosting the puppet museum not only serves as a platform to showcase the exceptional talent behind puppetry but also as an occasion to honor the remarkable contributions of puppets, integral to Australia’s entertainment history.
We wish to express our special appreciation to The Hill family, the Axelrad family, and Richard Bradshaw for their generous contributions, as well as to the ACTF for lending invaluable key figures.