A well carved wooden puppet shows off a new mood with a turn of its head, dip of its chin, lift of its hand. It's sculpture in motion, designed for story telling.
When a puppet maker works on sculpture, it's no surprise then, to find that his creations shift expressions almost as easily as a marionette. Posed, they let our motions redefine them, as if they're waiting to go on stage, ready to be set to life by a puppeteer. Or, perhaps, a room full of children.
A few weeks ago, James, Caroline and I went to the opening of a new sculpture exhibit by Mirek Trejtnar, a master puppet maker here in Prague. Galerie Výtoň celebrated the opening with a production of the Snow Queen, and the rooms were packed with people. After the show, kids roamed about the exhibition, peering into carved eyes, turning cranks to watch wooden faces spring to life, trying to decide what this angel might be thinking, or that man in the moon about to do. I imagined the stage set and story for a few favorites, and then it was dinner, and time to go.
The show runs three more weeks at Galerie Výtoň, two blocks from the Výtoň tram stop, close to the river on Vyšehradská 3. If you stop by, let me know what tales you imagine too!