christine fellows & shary boyle
Christine Fellows and Shary Boyle’s collaborative work of performative folk music art, Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home, which plays as part of the LuminaTO Festival’s 7 Monologues Series just until June 21st, 2015, is a mesmerizing journey into the wild imagination that delves beautifully and poetically into many of humanity’s rawest emotions.
Fellows sings most of the show’s narrative in her melodic folk songs, grounded in a resonant and earthy voice and accompanied by a ukulele and a keyboard, while Boyle’s handmade cutout projections bring the characters and the stories to immediate and dramatic visual life. Both Fellows and Boyle are performers, and while they operate in different spheres, the visual and the auditory, they also intersect and overlap in a way that helps to layer the song and the narrative and the poetry with the images and the movement and the immediacy of the creation of the physical art. The result is like the coming together of pieces of a puzzle to create a collage or mosaic using sounds, light, colour, drawings, music and the human body.
There is something inherently melancholy driving these stories; a sense of humanity’s isolation from the Natural World and from our roots and connections with our fellow animals. There is simultaneously the sense of us, as a species, moving further away from the wild terrain, but also allusions to the fact that this world is rapidly disappearing, a disaster of our own making. We have cut ourselves off from own societal umbilical cord, and are forced to live as caged animals do, restrictive and unnatural.
Yet, there is also a sense of playfulness at work, especially in the moving cutouts and shadows that come alive through Boyle, who acts very much like a conjuror of magic and imagery. It is apt that in a story so rooted in myth and nature that the technology used here be that of shadow puppets and overhead projections, and in Boyle’s skilled hands they are just as mesmerizing as anything created using far more complex technology.
The Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home is, indeed, spellbinding, and it leads its audience by the heart, through the window to look at the world from a distinctive and poignant perspective.
The 7 Monologues Series has closed, but LuminaTO continues until June 28th. Please visit this website for more information.