The Entrance to this exhibition is through this old-fashioned, double-fronted puppet shop. At the back there's a grotto full of illuminated things. Some are lit, some light up - some emit sound. Some pieces are liminal (portable portals), some retrospective (scrap books). None of them are toys. The vocabulary is metal and glass, photographs and film - the grammar is split infinitives and dangling participles. The language is colloquial, the content self-referential (the artist having lived long enough for the description 'autobiographical' to have lost its disparaging connotation). A muse, occasionally amusing, life model and clown Lesley Butler conglomerates found objects into talismans, amulets, mascots and fetishes where the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts, an amalgamation which defines her art. The holes in the roof and floor of the exhibition space (not to mention the artists' teeth) will be on display, as they all need filling. So yes, all artworks will be for sale. Private view at Puppet Planet from 6pm on Friday the 26th of May, with a barbecue by Charlie's Kitchen (the weather forecast is fantastic!) Open daily 9am - 7pm, the exhibition closes with a workshop (displacement activity) until 6pm on Wednesday the 31st of May.
Lesley Butler Whilst studying for a French & German degree participated in Fluxus ‘happenings’ after meeting Josef Beuys and Nam June Paik in Duesseldorf in 1981. Co-founded the Brixton Art Gallery then organised the Performance Art Festival ‘Bartok in Brixton’ there in 1983. Member of Octetto Ironico with David Medalla, performed the ‘A to Z of Synoptic Realism’. British Council funded tour to Krefeld in 1988. After studying acting including ‘Commedia dell’Arte’ with Barry Grantham, then media with BFI and C4, worked on Independent films and as a Location Manager around Europe. In 1990 joined the BBC as Post Production Manager, then Assistant Producer for BBC2’s ‘Open Space’ series. A commissioned photographer, work toured, published and exhibited, including at the National Portrait Gallery in 1993. Made first ‘lookalike’ marionette in 1999 when performing with Bubble Theatre, commissions include TV. Trained as a Clown with Vivian Gladwell ’Nose to Nose'. Opened the shop ‘Puppet Planet’ in 2003 - short film ‘Pinocchio’ screened at festivals in the U.K. and U.S. Clown: ‘The Bag Lady’, Punch & Judy: ‘Professor Baguette’. Arts Council travel bursary to India 2012. Imternational group exhibition 'Toys (Are Us)' at The Crypt Gallery curated by Kosha Hussein and Chloé Dall'Olio 2015.
A FEAST FOR THE IMAGINATION
On Saturday 20 May, Puppet Planet will be celebrating the final month of its 'Winter always turns to Spring' festival with a Grand Finale evening showcasing the puppetry of José Navarro, complemented by Canapés & Cocktails from Charlie's Kitchen. On the stage at the back of the Puppet Planet shop José will present a range of characters from a wide and colourful spectrum of puppetry forms in a skilful and playful programme. The accompanying menu of Mini Bites will have a South American flavour, and include a pudding and punch! All for £25 a head - to book, call or text on 07900975276
MINI BITE MENU
Fish Tacos w Raspberry Red Onion Chutney
Yorkshire Puddings with Lemon Beef Spicy Potato Caramelised Vegetables
Layered Causa Potato Cake Andean Chicken Fritter Zesty Salsa Criolla (Red Onion Lime Coriander)
Roasted Vegetable Tacos w Mango Tamarind Chutney
Yorkshire Puddings w Lime Mushrooms Spicy Potato Caramelised Vegetables
Layered Causa Potato Cake w Vegetable Cebiche Zesty Salsa Criolla
Raspberry Chocolate Pots
Elderflower and Raspberry Mojito Punch /Non Alcoholic Alternative