about us

Arts Background

Sean Manners’s arts background  started at a very young age and  he has been involved for over forty years. Presenting puppet shows, running art activities, and facilitating public and community art projects in the UK and Australia.

Building puppets from the age of six, Sean had his own seven person puppet company by the time he entered High School. He toured with Norwich Puppet Theatre, one of UK’s leading puppet companies, before coming to Australia.

After travelling Australia with his wife Mandy, dog Tessa, and a Punch and Judy show, Sean worked in the Theatre Media department at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst. Whilst there he had the opportunity to work with Welfare State International, a world leading celebratory theatre company.

Established in 1992 Pelican Puppets focuses on:

  • Transfer of skills to the community
  • Workshops in puppet making, mosaics, flag making, and lantern creation
  • Puppet performance and building
  • Large image construction

Sean has worked throughout Australia in communities, festivals, schools, vacation care centres, community gardens, art galleries and libraries. He now focuses on working in his home state of Tasmania.

Click on the following links to download resumes relating to specific areas of work or to see examples of his work in the community arts sector.

Community Arts projects: (selection)

Banners on the Bridge, Deloraine, Tasmania. Project developer/facilitator.

A project for the Tasmanian Craft Fair to involve local community groups. They created banners that reflected their community identity. These were flown on the bridge across the Meander River in Deloraine to create an entrance spectacle during the Tasmanian Craft Fair.

Community 2 U. Deloraine, Tasmania. Project developer/facilitator.

A mosaic project connecting local high school students with Deloraine House, a local Neighbourhood House. Deloraine House asked for a mosaic that identified with people’s idea of community working with year 8 students at Deloraine High School. Their mosaics that they designed and made were mounted on Deloraine House and connected with lines. The whole mosaic being inspired by the ‘share’ icon of 3 dots connected by two lines.

Homage to the Elements inc. Coordinator/Artist

A large scale outdoor community arts event held every two years at Terrigal, on the Central Coast of NSW. Consisting of two weeks of public workshops in the areas of dance, music, prop making, flag making, fire spinning , sound and lighting culminating in a performance held in a natural amphitheatre with the sea as a backdrop to an audience of approximately 3000.

26TEN Journal From NOW to the FUTURE. Meander Valley, Tasmania. Joint project developer/facilitator for Libraries Tasmania (LINC)

Sean Manners and Tara Ulbrich believe literacy grows out of our potential for creativity. Thus, to develop capacity in literacy, we need to enhance opportunities for creating.

The 26TEN Journal From NOW to the FUTURE connected communities to literacy through art with a hands-on experience of creating a unique journal. Over sixty people, from six smaller communities in the Meander Valley, contributed to the final journal, attending workshops in a variety of settings including church halls, fire sheds, cafes, and community halls.

Molong Stories, Molong, NSW. Artist in Residence/Project Developer

A five week Artist in Residence community project, funded by Festivals Australia, that collected stories from individuals and groups and turned them into twenty six large fabric banners. These were paraded through the streets during Molong’s Festival of the Arts.

“One Van” International Puppetry Festival, Blackheath, NSW. Construction Manager/Puppet Builder

Working with designer, Jenny Kee and participants from the Blue Mountains, NSW; “Nature Band” was an ensemble of large street puppets built over two months for the opening of the puppetry festival in 2005.

Community Pizza Ovens. Meander Valley, Tasmania. Builder/facilitator.

Two cob pizza ovens built by local community members in two community gardens over two days each. Managed, promoted and facilitated the creation of the ovens.

Devising Celebration: Parade, spectacle and large scale images for celebratory theatre.

 

My role was initially as part of the technical crew and then as a maker instructing some of the participants in the construction of large shadow puppets and screens. Held in September 1999 this event was run by the Theatre Media Department of Charles Sturt University and led by John Fox and Sue Gill of Welfare State International UK to teach NSW Drama teachers the art of celebration, parade, spectacle and large image’s.

Welfare State International, Ulverston, UK (Leading Community Arts group worldwide)

Invited to teach large and small scale shadow puppetry at their annual summer school in 2001 in Ulverston, England.