Andrea recently had the pleasure of chatting to Gavin Glover, to discuss his upcoming work he will be exhibiting at Naked Aye Art’s next show.
You describe yourself as puppeteer, actor, director, maker and artist. What is your favourite role?
I don’t know, I’ve done a lot of puppetry and recently a lot of life drawing and I quite like directing, but I like all of it really.
How did you first get involved with puppets? What was their appeal?
I was living in London at the time near a puppet theatre called the Little Angel Theatre. I hadn’t really thought about puppets, I just thought it was just for kids. Then I got a job there by chance because someone was sick and in a couple of weeks I started to think differently about puppetry. Even though it’s traditionally for kids, I thought if I could tweak it and subvert it a bit I could discover something really interesting for an adult audience. It fired up my imagination. I had previously been making masks and working in visual theatre so it’s all connected.
Can you tell me a little more about the process of making a puppet?
I approach it from two different angles. Either it is commission, someone says I want this so I do drawings and work out how it’s going to be made. The other way is I just make it, and I don’t really know how it’s going to end up. It’s almost like creating a sculpture that moves, because it’s got arms and limbs.
They all have the same rules, they have to be strong internally but be flexible and light enough so they can be manhandled and won’t fall to pieces basically. Once you’ve cracked the structure of it you can work on what it actually looks like.
Would you say it’s more of a planned or spontaneous process?
You can make a figure out of screwed up newspaper and tape and in a few minutes if you want or you can spend weeks hand sewing and twiddling about making costumes and working on loads of details that the audience won’t ever see.
You’re showing a piece of micro cinema theatre at Naked Aye this year, can you tell me a little more about that?
It’s a technique that I’m experimenting with at the moment using simple video cameras and CCTV cameras. It’s kind of old analogue style and we mix what we film live with a video mixer. That’s projected but there is other stuff going on stage at the same time, like us creating the film and a few other things so the audience watch it all. There is a narrative. I also collect people’s 2nd hand stories, these are personal stories that have been remembered and recounted by someone else. I’m still trying it out so I’m happy to have some audience feedback after.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
The reaction from the audience.
What’s the most memorable reaction you’ve had to your work?
It’s people coming up and saying they’ve cried during a show. They’ve found an empathy for the characters on the stage. That’s kind of amazing and humbling, that you can take someone far far away on an emotional journey just with an image that you have created on stage.
What are your goals for this year?
I want to push the micro cinema theatre ideas further, maybe to create a show. I’m teaching it at some workshops in Spain, Italy and Norwich this year.