PS

 

FRANCES ØSTERFELT

Puppets and Art

Puppets galore

The latest branches on my tree ...

Roswitha

My husband and I had the pleasure of experiencing the premiere of the theater production  "The Tin Drum" at the Betty Nansen Theater in Copenhagen. Sonja Richter's "Roswitha" was exquisite and the puppetmaker in me cried out to create her as a puppet. I contacted Sonja to get her permission and to ask for some photos of the character. Not only did she agree, she told me that ironically enough, the original idea for the part should've been a puppet!

The 11th Prince

From sketch to puppet.

The heart of my art

Puppets make up a major part of my production and have had my interest for as long as I can remember.

I have made puppets for animated films, for theater, and just for fun. Some puppets are meant more as sculptures than functioning puppets. Each puppet has a life and a story; and they spring from my imagination, inspired by my experiences, my life, my friends, and the world around me.

I work with a variety of materials such as wood, metal, wire, fabric, leather, clay, ceramic-like sculpturing compounds, and whatever else I can get my hands on. Often the choice of materials has a profound influence on the development of the puppet.

Some projects are more than just the puppet, e.g. Marie Curie has grown into several puppets, a projected theater production and an animated film in the making.

One of these "Marie's" is now a constant companion in my studio. Another is an honored resident in the newly renovated Musée Curie in Paris - visit her there! 

Late at night - or rather early in the morning - the cabaret's two dancers are still locked in their tango embrace.

Blind Faces - they look but don't see...

The 11th Prince

The adventure started with some sketches of my planned marion-ette, from the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, “The Wild Swans”.

According to the story, a wicked queen, jealous of the love her husband (the king) showed his children, bewitched 11 brothers. They were doomed to be swans by day and returned to human form by night. Their beautiful (of course) sister, the princess, could undo the enchantment only if she knitted sweaters for her brothers out of burning nettles that were harvested at night – and only if she never uttered a word during the process.

Portrait of a friend "Rolf's Journey"

This puppet was inspired by the death of a close friend.

The body of the puppet is constructed so the torso can open and release a

butterfly, representing the soul leaving the body.

The puppet was growing in my mind when I first saw the movie "Nine" with that delicious actor Daniel Day Lewis as the distressed film director Guido Contini. His character inspired the style of my Rolf. ...

The puppet is sitting on a "mountain", reading The Little Prince's farewell.

A collection of string puppets

 

 

 

 

           Bones               Captain Sliver               Esmeralda                    Smiley                       Sir Percy

To make a long story short, people around her suspected her of witchcraft; and she was to be burned at the stake. Never uttering a word, she knitted and knitted – even on the way to the stake. Quickly she thrust the sweaters onto the beautiful swans who’d accompanied her.

But she’d only had time to knit 10 full garments. The 11th garment lacked an arm. So the 11th swan/prince was returned to human form, but one of his arms remained a swan’s wing.

The prince’s crown is half court jester and half royal. His countenance melancholy. Once he’d been a prince. Once he’d been a lovely swan. What was he now? Andersen never finished that story. My marionette is an attempt to fill in the gap.

Bag Puppets

On stage conversation partners created for a.o. the Danish actress Jytte Abildstrøm

 Miss Anny

 (Mis-anthrope)

 Benjamin

 Bella