Saturday, April 28, 2012
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
|Tangle theatre is reincarnated once more!!!!! after a last minute application me and co-collaborator Arran of Cork Circus were accepted for a commission for this years St.Patricks day parade... the theme was happyness and what more appropriate than aliens!?!?!? Well yeh perhaps you don't see the connection but aliens looking from another planet and seeing the world as it is, come here not to suck our brains but to show us how to have a good time!|
|Space ship puppet theatre and life size alien rod puppet|
|The Parade was great fun, we worked with a youth group from Mahon and a group of asylum seekers, mostly from the African continent, the group creation of the aliens worked really well, as in making an alien there's no rules really, because their aliens, and because no one can really say what and alien looks like, theres no mistakes, and no wrong way to do it, which can be very liberating when not so confident with your artistic skills, I used a stuffed bag technique to make the alien heads, where you make a rough shape with bags stuffed with newspaper, rubbish, anything really, tape it into place then build up layers of newspaper and brown paper stuck together with wallpaper paste, if you click on my 2008 posts you should see this technique, as i used it in La Cambalacha in Guatemala on my second vist to their fantastic place|
|The aliens having a great ol time in their converted paddling pools|
|Me and mr alien|
|details of control|
|detail of hand puppet potential|
|alien controlled robot and flying saucer aliens|
|skeleton of alien rod puppet|
The fun thing was when the copydex was at just the right stage of drying, you could actually shape and mould the features, the softer the foam the more effective this was
|carving foam head|
|copydex man.....little test piece|
|foam body before latex and muslin applied|
|Puppet maker Lesley givin it some alien moves|
|asylum seeker workshop painting large paper mache head|
|more detail of painting|
|Arran painting tentacle surrounded by flying saucers|
|internals of flying saucer|
|flying saucer packed down, neat ay|
|Assembling African alien, note red cross for mouth signifying lack of voice for asylum seekers|
|Arran an the Alien|
found a few clips of the paddys parade on youtube, this is the whole parade
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D19pv-ZbDcI and we are at about 41.50
this clip is a bit better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUHnDCk5kjM&feature=related and we are on at
about 12 mins in theres a good bit of Arrans alien robot on it
and some good flying saucer spin action on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAHK0t_e3cY&feature=related
at about 29 mins in.....
Posted by bob dobbs at 4:08 PM
Saturday, April 16, 2011
At the end of 2010, friend, clown and sometime collaborator Arran, commissioned me to construct a puppet chicken to be included in a performance him and three other clowns were doing as Clowns without Borders in Somalia. A chicken was selected as it was easily reconised, and it was built around a builders hat in order for it to be placed on the head.
The legs were contructed of wire and newspaper jointed with bolts, strung from behing to give realistisc chicken movement, the wings were made from truck inner tube bolted to the builders hat
The finish of the chicken was exposed newspaper paper mache, as the clown show was called 'Good News' utilising newspaper props, so the show didn't look too flashy, and keeping accessible to all audiences.
This was the first time in twenty years an international performance group were in Somalia as it is a country with no government to speak of and a chaotic situation for much of the inhabitants, who are mostly displaced within their own country.
I felt honoured to be involved in a small way in such an inspiring project, as bringing smiles and laughter to situations where hope and joy is in short supply has been an ambition of mine for a long time, ever since reading the circus to iraq blogs in 2004 (www.circus2iraq.org)
The puppet was constructed in my freezing workshop with the wood burner was on constantly, and the water would freeze as it came out of the tap into my kettle as i fed my need for constant cups of tea.
So it felt a little sureal that in those conditions it was then whisked to the 30-35 blinding sun to become part of a circus clown routine to entertain children who'd witnessed untold horrors in there short lives
A very inspiring project, and one i was very happy to have a small part in.
For more information click on http://clownswithoutborders.org/
Posted by bob dobbs at 4:53 PM
Monday, December 07, 2009
Here are pictures from the space I organised at the electric picnic, Non-Toxic Machines, it was based in the Green Crafts space, while technically not a green craft, making machines out of old bikes seemed to fit in quite well with the ethos of the whole thing, and I felt really welcomed, the organisers of the space Marie and Nic Piper were great, they did everything they could for us and trusted everyone to do their own work and do it well, creating a real community feel to the space, and it made me wonder why more organisers arn't as pleaseant and organised, having bad experiences working for the body and soul area, where ego's seem to rule the space, the organisers arn't at all organised and seem to think that people should be honoured to be part of the festival and generally treat people with contempt.... they know who they are.. anyway me and my friend Anna, fellow bike artist from Belfast, Paddy Bloomer, and his partner Joanna who also made dresses from old tents, (http://www.therainskirt.com) had a great time. Padddy made a bike soundsystem on a old sinclair C5, an i mostly tinkered with my bike powered virtual reality machine and people had much fun peddling and playing tunes on the pedal soundsystem
Posted by bob dobbs at 3:16 PM
ok, these were workshops me and my friend fergal ran at the hollies centre for practical sustainability (http://theholliesonline.com) in the summer. They went over two days and the first workshop was concerning making bike generators, this went ok considering there wern't to many people, we decided to make two kinds of bike trailer, the first kind was based around a fish box, the big heavy rubber/plastic boxes fishermen use, the wheels were taked apart and put on the axle of a peda;l, and then the pedal cranks bolted onto he box, this method worked well as it can be done without using electricty, which was handy as we didn't have any electricity on site, the problems started with the second kind of trailer, a metal frame one which used normal wheels but needed welding, so it was difficult to get people involved as i couldn't teach welding in such a short time, so i basically had to make it with other people watching, which i felt was a bit disempowering, and dificult, so we decided the following day which was about making bicycle powered machines, would be entirely electricity free, apart from what we generated with the machines, to be super low impact, but also using only hand tools made it a super accesable day, were anyone young and old could get involved, and after a breif talk about the technicalities possibilities of bike machines we went about making three bike generators, it was a bright sunny day, an there was a wonderful atmosphere of playfullness an invention amoung the participants who all went away very happy, i was buzzing after that day, and it inspired me to organise a non-toxic machines space in the green crafts field of the electric picnic.
Posted by bob dobbs at 2:53 PM
Ok here are some more images, first off, some gratuitous action shots of me on the forge in me workshop, then a surprise, when the glen studio's semi-collective returned from our outing at the electric picnic (where non-toxic machines bike crew had there first event fotos soon_) we'd only been gone a week, but upon returning wehen i went to use my anvil, there where mushrooms growing from it!!, well actually from close ispection, they wern't growing from it, but from the beech stump i put it om months before, it must have had some fungus in it, at first i thought it was really cool, but then i looked them up, an i think they are destroying angel mushrooms, some of the deadliest around!, and when ever i pivcked them, the next day there would be more!, they've finally subsided but i expect they'll be back next year, a foto with bikes in it? oh yeh that was from a workshop, me and my friend fergal did in the hollies, a centre for perectical sustainability in west cork. more to follow
Posted by bob dobbs at 2:15 PM
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Its been a long time since my last blog, and alots happened since then, so i will not attempt to catch up all at once but i'll do it in installments, i spose one of the most exciting things for me was setting up the Glen Studios with friends Sean Og and Donal, its a studio space which primarily focus's on sustainable art forms, i've got a forge there and lots of tools to play with, its also significant in a life changing way, as to set it up i had to decide where i wanted to be for a good few years, which i've never consciously done, so I feel thats a big step forward, its in a place called kinsale, which is a little seaside town on the south coast of Ireland, there could be alot worse places to be. It was the first transition town, which means it aims to leave behind its dependancy on oil over time, more about this later. It also has a small college which teaches the only full time permaculture course in Europe, so this brings interesting people from all over the world, and alot of them settle here, making it culturally alot more exciting than many small towns in Ireland.. any way to the pictures.. The first one is Paddy Bloomers 'Skary-Go-Round' which he brought down to cork for the cycling festival there. I had the pleasure of working with Paddy at the electric picnic this year, in a bike recycling space i organised called Non-Toxic Machines.... photo's will follow.
The next picture is Sean Og, Donal and me around our burner in the studio's, then me on a bike generator at the entrance to the studio's at our first event, a performance and film screening.
Next is Brendan Power, pyrographer using a bike generator I designed and made, so he can pyrography without mains electricity. His website: www.brendanpowerart.com and the Glen Studios website (still in construction) http://glenstudios.org thanks for your attention and i will upload more images shortly. Thanx. Rob
Posted by bob dobbs at 8:04 AM