Puppets on Moa

School children from Moa Island, Torres Straits practicing for the big performance.

Puppets on Moa

A giant shark and his sea dwelling friends arrive at St Paul’s on Moa Island with a story to tell...

65 members of St Paul’s community, on Moa Island in the Torres Straits, were spellbound when local musicians and puppeteers (children from the local school) delivered a performance that had the crowd singing amid laughter and tears.

Using a shadow puppet screen, narration, live music and a choir the performers brought the sea to life with a giant shark, dugongs, turtles and fish, fabricated from ghost nets and other marine debris found on the island shores.

The puppeteers drew on a real local story of a shark rescued from a ghost net, highlighting the danger and impact of this problem to marine life in the Torres Straits, although this issue is not of local creation.

After the performance community members said they were “deeply touched” and believed that with such powerful storytelling GhostNets Australia could influence and inform people all around the world. This is why GhostNets Australia has produced a film of the puppet project, which has since been translated into Korean, Indonesian and French for showing in those countries.

The impact of the puppets will live on. Artists from Kubin said they were inspired to continue puppet construction on Moa Island, raising awareness and continuing the Ghost Net art explosion across the Torres Strait.

Many hands came together to make this story and we would like to say thank you and congratulations to all involved.

A special thanks goes to the Arts Centre, School, Churches and wider community and to the talented young puppeteers from St Pauls School who mastered the operation of complex shadow puppets to bring the story to life.

Story adapted from article in the Torres News by Ilka White.

Photo below: Art Facilitator Ilka White with two ladies from St Pauls community making the puppets.