Work

Please click here to view my online portfolio.

LAME D’OISEAU
Some people are born with a twin soul, another cell that attaches onto the very first. But birth makes its development impossible, and so the person is left with a lifetime of longing for the sea, the earth, or the air.

For this woman, she longed to be with the birds.

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This piece was written inspired by my life, by my interest in birds, finding them dead and having the need to capture them through a photograph, as well as finding eggs, and having dreams of flying and finding eggs.

In this piece I attempted to explore a more contemporary form of puppet manipulation by using the puppeteer’s body to merge with that of the puppet.

Directed and performed by Laura Elands
Story created and written by Jana Rémond
Sound by Lex Kosanke

Duration: 10 minutes

This short performance was presented as part of a solo performance project for the curriculum at l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette (ESNAM) at Charleville-Mézières, France.

Please click here to see view more photos

POURQUOI LES FILS?
String puppetry workshop in 2016 with string puppeteer Mary Sharp from Cie Full Circle.
I created a bird, which turned out too large for a normal string puppet control system, so Mary Sharp designed a system for me to make to connect the puppet through hoops to the controls, which I can be seen manipulating in the photo below.
I created a scene in which the puppet attempts to fly but fails. Trying to save the bird, I enter the stage and continue manipulating the puppet by directly manipulating it with my hands. The system also includes a shadow screen, which can be lifted and lowered with a separate control.

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Photo taken by Christophe Loiseau

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Photo taken by Christophe Loiseau

Manipulating the puppet with the specially conceived control system

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Photo taken by Pierre Dupont

Mary Sharp with my puppet.

Please click here to view more photos.


EXSERTILE
1. capable of being exserted or protruded

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Exsertile was created in 2015 as a photography project incorporating puppet-like elements. The masks worn on the woman’s body are a representation of her detrimental states of mind. The project is named ‘exsertile’, as these masks are the extension of her inability to accept what feels strange and foreign to her. They are part of her physicality and yet they do not seem to belong. The rough textures echo the discomfort and the grey and white appearance give a feel of alienation from oneself.
I am interested in the use of objects worn on the body to transform its nature and our perception of it, which does not only play as an extension of the body but also as a separate entity to it.

This project was exhibited at La Péniche from the 17th September-31st October 2015
(Le Mawhot, Quai Jean Charcot, 08000 Charleville-Mézières), as well as during the at the Die-Wo-Spielen Festival, Stuttgart (Germany) from the 16th-19th July  2015.

Please click here to view more photos.

 

POST MORTEM
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In 2014 I created ‘Post Mortem, which was based on the following quote by Norman Cousins:

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”

Inspiring myself from this quote I explored the idea of depression and psychological death – the theatre stage representing the inside of the character’s mind, puppets used as metaphors for her fears and anxieties and physical theatre used as a tool to convey her thought processes.

The character’s journey is one of recovery from a trauma which remains unknown to the audience, observing the different psychological aspects of recovery, eventually realising that ‘spiritual death is the death of our illusions and delusions about who we are and how things really are.’ This piece uses puppets, masks and physical theatre in an attempt to draw the audience into a world of inner states often difficult to understand literally without having personally experienced them.
Direction, puppet making and performance by Laura Elands
Sound designed and composed by Lex Kosanke
Light designed by Jessica Barter

Duration: 30 minutes

I toured this show in Germany, Poland and London.

Please click here to view more photos.

FRAG.MEN.TED
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“Laura has captured the complexity, creativity and often beauty that so often is a part of this very complex mental health condition. Her ability to hold the audience through her subtle use of puppetry, capturing the cause and effect of extreme childhood abuse without alienating her audience shows a deep understanding and magical interweaving of her creative ability. She has managed to underpin the whole performance with the on-going terror that severely abused children live with the whole time. I thank her for bringing the reality of this subject to so many more people and her determination to learn about and represent it so well.” Melanie Goodwin, chair of First Person Plural, a national survivor-led association for Dissociative Identity Disorder and similar complex dissociative conditions

Frag∙men∙ted is a short artistic visual piece of shadow puppetry examining dissociative states of mind within Dissociative Identity Disorder. Combining two and three dimensional shadow elements, the triggers and the dissociative states of mind that follow are explored.
Direction, puppet making and performance by Laura Elands
Sound designed and composed by Lex Kosanke

Duration: 20 minutes

I toured this performance in different venues across London including the Roundhouse Theatre.

Please click here to view a trailer of the performance.

HER AND THE OTHERS
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This was a short project exploring dissociative identity disorder through the use of body casts and shadow puppetry.
The actor wakes up inside her own nightmare and realises she has been sharing her body with other people. This journey leads on to her identifying to and taking back consciousness of the alienated parts of her.

Direction, puppet making and performance by Laura Elands
Sound designed and composed by Lex Kosanke
Light designed by Jessica Barter

Click here to see a video of the project.

EL RETABLILLO DE DON CRISTOBAL
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In 2012, as the result of a text analysis project at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, I created a short piece using sack puppets based on ‘El Retablillo de Don Cristobal’ by Federico García Lorca, which I performed at the Accidental Festival 2012 at the Roundhouse Theatre, London.
With special thanks to Stan Middleton and Isobel Mascarenhas-End

Click here to see a short video of the piece.

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