Horse puppets from Arts Centre Melbourne's upcoming War Horse production and a five-metre long Raptor dinosaur puppet and are among the highlights of the upcoming exhibition War Horse and the Breath of Life celebrating the art of puppetry. Developed in collaboration with The National Theatre of Great Britain to support the Arts Centre Melbourne's season of War Horse, the exhibition will be staged in Arts Centre Melbourne Gallery I from Saturday 10 November 2012 to Sunday 17 March 2013.
War Horse and the Breath of Life features all kinds of puppets, animatronic creatures, costumes, films, photographs, original designs and purpose-built interactives. The exhibition brings together the best elements of The National Theatre's exhibition Staging War Horse, which will be displayed alongside examples of contemporary Australian puppetry from Art Centre Melbourne's Performing Arts Collection, which is the largest in Australia and is home to more than 500,000 items, relating to the history of circus, dance, music, opera and theatre.
The exhibition will feature on loan items including animatronics such as the five-metre long raptor from local workshop, The Creature Technology Company who have created the dinosaurs from Walking with Dinosaurs – the Arena Spectacular.
"The exhibition demonstrates how puppets are brought to life by artists, designers, puppeteers and actors, and offers something for everyone, from spooky masks to childlike puppets from fairy tale productions,'' said Arts Centre Melbourne Chief Executive Judith Isherwood.
Other Australian highlights include puppets and props from the Melbourne-based Handspan Visual Theatre company, renowned Australian puppeteer and theatre designer Anne Fraserwho has worked on productions including Summer of the Seventeenth Doll and puppets and from The Grimstones created by writer and puppeteer Asphyxia.
Other puppets in the exhibition range from a Vivien Leigh doll as Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind to a Frida Kahlo puppet from Viva La Vida and Punch and Judy hand puppets, as well as macabre masks from Dante… Through The Invisible and ventriloquist dolls from Arts Centre Melbourne's Performing Arts Collection.
Admission is free. For more information or bookings, visit artscentremelbourne.com.au, phone 1300 182 183 or follow Arts Centre Melbourne on Facebook and Twitter.