Today on my walk I imagine that I am being interviewed for an international Puppet Magazine. I am being interviewed by a famous Puppeteer. They have seen my work and have been lucky enough to have been granted an interview with me. They have been invited to come with me on my walk. They ask me to describe my style of Puppetry. I tell them that I want to create a series of beautiful images. However, there is always a sadness, it’s like beautiful melancholy. Like Tom Waits, like the Circus leaving town and you watch them pack up the big top. You realise it’s just yards of fabric sewn together. You see no magic now as you watch it being packed away into a crate. But this leaves you longing for what you know it can become and a little bit of your heart travels away with it.

I love hearing stories. I am actually someone who loves looking at your holiday photos. I like to hear the stories you tell here and how you tell them the things you’ve remembered. How these places passed through your filter and what remains and what was left abroad. Tiny shards of these stories stay with me and time processes them and I can’t think who they belong to now. Was it me drinking coffee in Madrid or someone else? Tiny scenes. Single images but full of beauty.

My job is about stories. People living with Dementia tell stories, their stories. But sometimes cut up and put back together. I have heard families tell me that ‘no, mother never worked in a bank, her sister had a friend who did’. So, their story has become someone else’s. It’s ok though, it’s gone anyway. Lost in time. I don’t need truth, I love the image more. And I love that these stories are repeated, like listening to a song again and again till I know all the words. For me Puppetry is about creating a moment in time. Just one scene that is told and retold. It should be slightly fragmented and odd but with a core.

Theresa McNally, Creative Practice Manager
Theresa McNally, Creative Practice Manager