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Myth & Magic: Puppets for Grown-Ups by Melanie Skene

Blog/NewsMay 29th 2018
Brian Zheng

Thumbnail and banner Image by SuZimageZ, mask by Melanie Skene, costume by Tanis Sydney McArthur, and performances by the Hamilton Ariel Group and Directed by Lori Le Mare.​

“It has a lot to do with the idea of creating a world that you want, rather than just expressing what you don’t want”

Melanie Skene, a McMaster graduate, is a Hamilton-based puppet and mask artist. Inspired by the use of giant puppets in a solstice procession, Melanie began to create giant puppets for local celebrations. Working at the renowned Bread and Puppet Theater in Vermont and starting her own gallery, Many Hands Art, she has continued to bring these magical pieces to the community. Melanie creates several puppets and masks for a number of productions, parades and festivals throughout Hamilton.

Myth & Magic: Puppets for Grown-Ups is an exhibition of Melanie’s work at the You me gallery at 330 James St. North in Hamilton which is open until June 3rd 2018. The gallery is opened from 12-5pm Wednesdays to Sundays.

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Image by Michael Humes Photographymask by Melanie Skene, costume by Tanis Sydney McArthur, and performances by the Hamilton Ariel Group and Directed by Lori Le Mare.​

Melanie explains the exhibition is inspired by the need for magic in our lives. “I’ve always been fascinated by myths” Melanie says. Much of her work is inspired by a variety of folklore and myths, that are brought to life by the puppets and the shows they are featured in. For example, one of her pieces is inspired by the Crone.

On top of art, Melanie also uses her pieces as mediums to advocate for important issues. “It has a lot to do with the idea of creating a world that you want, rather than just expressing what you don’t want” Melanie explains. Melanie’s art strives to create not only a beautiful world, but messages of equity, love and peace.

Love theater? Read our article on the Player's Guild of Hamilton

Read our article on the artistic nature of guitar making.

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