Victor the Caretaker

Summoned to perform at the Woodford Folk Festival’s closing ceremony, Victor the giant journeyed to Woodfordia and unexpectedly found himself assuming the role of the land’s caretaker. That’s a 500-year position! Now the current steward of Woodfordia, Victor, a keen gardener and a general jack-of-all-trades, approaches his duties with earnestness and diligence. Standing at a towering six meters tall, the young giant has relocated to the area and fully embracing his newfound responsibilities. Whether meticulously inspecting the festival lights’ impact on the village’s creatures and plants or ensuring the safety of the festival stalls’ roofs and pathways, Victor navigates the streets of Woodfordia with care, always mindful of his integral role in the community. Despite his towering presence, Victor seamlessly integrates into village life. His participation in local events and his unforgettable portrayal of ‘Viktor the old man’ during the 2016 New Year celebrations are still fondly remembered by the locals.

In a co-production between Woodford Folk Festival and Memetica, Victor was crafted by Daniele over an 8-week period, covering both design and construction. The physical assembly of the giant puppet involved the assistance of 8 volunteers enlisted in the Festival’s volunteering program, along with the exceptional welding expertise of Bruce Banners.

A significant contribution to the project was the creation of Victor’s loyal companion, Vurt the kookaburra, designed and built by artist Amelia Kalifa. In addition to her role as production manager, Amelia also served as the volunteer coordinator for the delivery of the roving shows.

Over the course of two weeks, Daniele trained and directed a team of 15 volunteers as they operated the puppet for the rehearsal of the roving shows, as well as for both the festival’s opening ceremony and the closing ceremony show “The Last Leaf”.

::Old Viktor confers with Vurt::
Excerpt from “The Last Leaf“, Woodford Follk Festival‘s closing ceremony show. Directed by Alex Podger.