Memetica's Support materials for Deadly Totems

Concepts and example of giant wearable characters
More memetica existing work

Concepts and examples of giant wearable characters

:: Totems of the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association’s Deadly Youth group.

A depiction of the four animals chosen as totems for the Deadly Youth group, teaching traditional connection and kinship structures – the pobblebonk frog, blue tongue lizard, the kookaburra and the ring-tailed possum. The image has been kindly made available by  Taungarong artist Samantha Trist, Mornington Peninsula resident and member of the Willum Warrain’s community. 

:: The Naming with Janggaburru

The Naming was a project conceived by Daniele Poidomani for The Tablelands Folk Festival 2019. In collaboration and consultation with local indigenous elders, Memetica intervened on the territory to promote local indigenous culture at the Festival. Honoring the International Year of Native Languages, Memetica worked with local community members to create and install street signage written in Ydinji language and referring to culturally relevant sites and historical places. It also created a giant character to perform around the theme and attract attention to the project. The Naming demonstrates Memetica’s interest in and focus on language and cultural sharing,  as well as Memetica’s practice of involving communities in the making and delivery of artwork.

:: The Bush Turkey (the making of)

The Bush Turkey is being created for the creation story narrated by Wamba Wamba man Ron Murray that will be put on stage in The fire Garden Event of The Village Festival  (date tbc, after cancellation due to Victoria lockdown in July-August). As many of Daniele’s creation the character will continue to live on past the show it’s been created for. Daniele’s creation are renowned for their long-lasting life ensured by a sustinability oriented fabrication process combined with a solid construction of the character which grows with time. Examples of Daniele long-lasting characters are some of the Snuff Puppets company’s which, created between 20 and 7 years ago, continue to regularly roam and delight audiences nationally and internationally (the Boom Family, The Seagulls, The Cows, The Human Body Parts, Mirabelle The Snail and others) as well as Memetica’s own Elders of Woodfordia, The Monsters, Victor the Giant; and Astrid & Naut). 

Existing work

:: The Reeflings (inflatables  creations made with salvaged tents)
Arrival: The Reeflings was an immersive/participatory performance artwork presented in partnership with The Abbotsford Convent in January 2021. The project represented an extension of Memetica’s practice with inflatable sculpture and puppetry, with the inflatables in this instance being animated characters (The Reeflings) operated by performers. Arrival: The Reeflings was aimed at a children’s audience, however the artistry of the inflatable design also proved deeply engaging to adult audience members and passers by. In the development of this project, Daniele was able to experiment with options and techniques for adding interest and complexity to inflatable wearable puppets which add portability and ease of wearing given to their notably lighter weight when compared to bamboo based giant puppets. At the end of July 2021 Daniele will bring the light-weight reeflings to ARC Disability Service drama classes in Cairns to test viability of potential collaboration with the ARC clients’ community.

:: The Elders of Katumayan
Created in collaboration with the Gageng Performing Group of the Amis indigenous people of Taiwan. Over a four week collaboration, Daniele and participants created three giants representing fictional Amis Elders. Along with  their day to day clothes the three Elders have ceremonial traditional dress they worn for the Opening Ceremony of the Taitung East Coast Lands and Art festival and for the Indigenous Gathering Festival held annually at the Amis Centre in Douli.
The three Elders of Katumayan, named after the location they were born in, live now with the Gageng group and have continued to preside at all local community gatherings sine 2018.

:: Air Camp
Air Camp is a project Memetica undertook with ArtPlay in 2019. The project demonstrates community engaged practice, and exploration of inflatables in a workshop context (though working with children rather than adult participants). While the artistic outcomes of Scraps workshops are anticipated to be much more advanced, the experience with Air Camp demonstrates how accessible inflatable design and building is to people who come to the workshop without existing skills. This video is also a useful demonstration of the high-quality documentation and testimonial Memetica will aim to capture at workshops to support future project promotion.

:: For Want of a Better Word
For Want of a Better Word is a new project being delivered wholly online with the support of the 2020 Together Apart funding program of City of Maribyrnong.  The project reflects on language, and the unique and poignant words that exist across cultures. The project, being developed with Daniele’s local Maribyrnong community, is evidence of Memetica’s increasing focus on both local community art projects and linguistic explorations.(https://www.forwantofabetterword.com)

:: The Woodfordia Elders
A most loved feature of the Woodford Folk Festival and the Planting Festival since 2016 The Woodfordia Elders are recorded in this video in their welcoming of the festival’s patrons in the last edition of the festival. Representing elders of all cultures and peoples the  Woodfordia Elders preside to all festival ceremonies as well as enjoying the festival by watching music and shows and join in with the fun with patrons in the streets.
With twelve characters Daniele directs a group of up to 25 crew of volunteers for every festival for the 1 week period and preceded by 4 days of rehearsals. With scripts created by Daniele the performance evolve duing the duration pf the festival with contribution of the vounteering crew of performers who add their input as they become more familiar with the characters and with street theatre techniques.

The soundtrack to this video has been reproduced with the kindly permission of Sludge Party.