RISE #2761 :: Acquittal's evidence material for Memetica's Giant Steps in Far North Queensland

GSFNQ has been a successful and impactful project that delivered new relationships, new artistic opportunities, new giant characters, and dozens of community performances. A key outcome of the project is an increased demand for giant puppet interventions in the region, as well as an increased network of skilled creators and performers – creating sustainable future opportunity for Memetica to work in FNQ. Two new giant characters were creating, growing Memetica’s family of puppets available for story-telling. Over 30 creative and cultural professionals engaged in the project, and thousands of audiences enjoyed the artwork created at dozens of community performances. 

Alternative events were engaged, and opportunities sought as replacements and successfully served the same purposes anticipated by the original work plan. In substitution of the ones that fell through the newly established connections allowed for the implementation of the GSFNQ project through the following events: performance in Atherton, performance at Mareeba Market, performance at Cairns’ EcoFiesta, community workshop at Centre for Australasian Theatre (CfAT) in Julatten, performance at Night at the Opera in Port Douglas, performance for the Barrine’s Boat Tour in Yungaburra.

These in addition to the one that went along as planned: Atherton workshop, Wallaby Creek Festival, Tablelands Folk Festival

In total GSFNQ participated (or created) 15 activities against the originally planned 11.

Janggaburru character wearing the Country Cape at the Tableland Folk Festival in Yungaburra. The picture on the cape is by Dulgubarra Ydinji Elder Laurie Padmore’s niece Saraya Fay. It depicts Dulgubarra Ydinji’s country and its culturally significant natural features.

:: First giant steps
The first training workshop held in Yungaburra in Jan 2022. Some of the soon to be performers familiarizing with the giant puppetry’  mechanics, weight balance and operations. Zachary Barclay, Dan Joseph, Nina Dawson, Jenny Sader, Sarah Isherwood

:: Tablelands Folk Festival Festival
Janggaburru,  Bush Turkey and Cassowary entertaining themselves and the festival’s patrons. The giant characters roamed the festival over three days creating hilarious interaction with the audience as well as enacting short narrative skits between the three of them for the audience to enjoy as casual witnesses. The Tablelands Folk Festival was the culmination of the year long project giving performers the opportunity to apply not only the techniques learned but also the experience of interacting with people acquired through the numerous public events occurred over the past months. The mix of improvisation and the following of the ‘canovaccio’ of italian ‘commedia dell’arte’ style for characters resulted in a very enjoyable and fulfilling experience for audiences and the performers alike.

:: Wallaby Creek Festival
Janggaburru casually joining with the fun at the festival, sitting in the audience watching a band playing. Above: Janggaburru hanging out at the festival with his friends the Cassowary and the Bush Turkey 


:: Giant puppets making and rehearsing
GSFNQ run two community workshop with free participation open to the local communities in Atherton and in Julatten. In both workshops the participaing community brought shared ideas and input on what character to create along with then learn giant puppet making techniques, from concept to design to fabrication. They also had the the chance to ‘wear’ the puppet and practice with how to operate them. Eventually some of the participants joined opted to join the project for the long term commitment and become part of the performing team that delivered dozens of public performances in the region at festivals and events.

Play Video

:: Videoclip of rehearsals with Junggaburru, Bush Turkey and Cassowary
The clip shows some of the rehearsals occurred during and after construction at both workshops in Atherton (April 2022) and Julatten (August/Sept 2022). The training performers in puppets are Dan Joseph, Zach Barclay, Thiango Brugman, Catherine Hassall, Varsha Lieber,  directed by Aleea Monsour and Daniele Poidomani

Cassowary in action