I’m back from my leisurely trip from deepest Southern winter to European summer, so now I start sorting through way-too-many photos. I visited a bunch of zoos and wildlife parks, most singing a conservation tune and doing their best to offer inhabitants a reasonable facsimile of a interesting life, albeit one lacking both the dangers and the freedoms of the wild. The primate rescue centre in Southern England was one of the most impressive. The place is dedicated to rehoming mostly former lab animals and illegal pets who couldn’t ever be repatriated or released, and telling the various sad stories (albeit ones that ended happily) of how the residents came to be there.
[I will add more to this page as I sort through the SD cards]
May has been a silly/busy/creative month
- Taking part in my first non-student art exhibition
- Being ‘creative lead’ for a comedy festival improv show
- Making a 7-minute movie in a 48 hour film festival – as camera person, gorilla, director and editor.
All these projects were shared with good friends – I am lucky to know so many crazy-creative and lovely people.
At the ‘Art by Funny People’ exhibition, at Thistle Hall, I especially enjoyed encouraging people to try on my masks (which were exhibited with a “please touch” notice). A mask on a wall is, at best, only a half-finished artwork. I am always fascinated by the way the same mask looks weirdly different on different people. Young blokes were particularly drawn to the newest mask, a very heavily bearded man, but keeness to try on a different gender was another characteristic quirk of interaction with the masks.
During the show another masked character (persona? entity?), Toothfish, visited the gallery and viewed the masks. A reviewer visited too, commenting that “Ali Little’s masks have a distinct palette and style, and a pleasing interactive display. They ask to be used. ” My first art review!
The Comedy Festival show All-Star Gorilla was a revival of the traditional Keith Johnstone format – one that the Wellington Improvisation Troupe hold the local licence for, deliberately going back to doing the show by the book. We had a lot of fun directing each other in favourite games, and taking turns being the eponymous gorilla. Meeting the public in costume when handing out flyers to promote the show, was an interesting experience. Instead of the usual eyes-slide-past reaction, when maybe one in ten people will take a flyer, people actively approached Dru, boldly or shyly, to take flyers and pose for photographs. Continue reading
Tonight was the first night of All-Star Gorilla, at the Fringe Bar, 7pm Sundays 5, 12 and 19 of May, part of the current Comedy Festival. Not only do I get to make up comedy on-the-spot with a bunch of lovely co-conspirators, I also had the fun of creating the mask for our new gorilla, Dru.
I wasn’t the person-in-the-suit tonight, but have worn it a couple of times to promote the show. Being a gorilla completely changes the way it feels to hand out flyers to the public – people smile and take the things from you nearly every time, rather than that explicit ignoring thing which street promotion usually engenders. It is of course very hard to ignore a shaggy beast, especially if she’s being cute and friendly.
Now, the shell has been made, ears formed, eyes put in and cuts made for eyes nose and mouth. Painting tomorrow . . .
All going well she’ll soon be ready for her supporting role in the NZ Comedy Festival.
I’m in an improvised comedy show next month, which mostly explains why I am spending this afternoon creating a mask for the eponymous Gorilla.
So far, I’ve finished a rough clay form over a plaster cast, next step will be draping it with a thermoplastic sheet (Instamorph) and then will be painting and adding fur. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon, not bad at all . . .