With February already nipping at our heels, I began to wonder what inspiring art events and projects would fill my month. Something I am really looking forward to is Toronto-based artist Shary Boyle’s upcoming collaborative performance with singer and songwriter Christine Fellows at the Harbourfront Centre. Everything Under the Moon is a modern take on the shadow play with all of its fantasy, mystery, and paper-cut magic! Boyle and Fellows will use overhead projectors, paper puppets, costumes and a variety of musical instruments to transport their audience into the world of a honey bee and a small bat, bound by friendship, on their quest to save their respective species.
If I can expect anything of Everything Under the Moon, I imagine the visual spectacle will demonstrate what we at The Paper Place are always on about: paper possesses the ability to assume evocative and concrete form while simultaneously maintaining the ephemerality of the shadows these forms produce. Paper can do and be anything you wish!
Boyle’s method of hand-manipulating her illustrations and paper sculptures atop a lit overhead projector reminded me of several precedents in art theatrical history that really expose paper’s versatility as a medium. Lotte Reiniger’s seminal 1926 animation, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, features intricately filigreed paper cut-outs that stutter and dance across the screen. Take a look at how lively Reiniger’s paper puppets were!
And what about traditional Indonesian shadow puppetry, called Wayang Kulit?
So, chase those February doldrums away with a eyeful of fantasy and a bit of shadow play! In fact, why not grab some colourful paper, a few X-Acto knives, and a bright light source and put on a shadow play of your own. A delight for all ages to be sure!