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marionettes and kinetic art


Christopher Lettington

  I studied Fine Art Painting at Norwich School of Art. I was greatly inspired and influenced by the relationship between nature and European pre-Christian religious imagery. I graduated in 1987, and for two years I worked for the Royal Mail so that I could continue with my artwork in the afternoons, without suffering financially.

  In 1989 I won the 'Birdman of Bognor' competition for the best design (a converted bicycle with flapping wings), and then moved to Greece later in that year.

  Within a few months of arriving in Athens I found the opportunity to participate in an exhibition at Ersis Gallery, where I presented a selection of marionettes. Over a period of several years and at many group exhibitions at the Gallery Pleiades, I presented a wide range of sculpture, kinetic art, functional art, marionettes, toys and games, and Icon painting.

  During this period I also became self employed as a freelance consultant for two leading architectural design offices involved in interior ship design and luxury residential design, specialising in interior and exterior architectural models, perspective drawings, design presentations, marine furniture design, carpet design, construction drawings, and detail drawings. I eventually became involved with furniture restoration and design/construction of handmade furniture to order.

  Living on the slopes of Mt. Pendeli just outside Athens, from where the marble for the Parthenon was taken, also gave me the opportunity to explore marble carving.

  In 2013 I returned to the UK, and am presently setting up a business making traditional hand carved quality wooden marionettes, kinetic art, and automaton. I soon intend to start experimenting with puppet theatre performance.


Christopher Lettington

  I studied Fine Art Painting at Norwich School of Art, where I devoted most of my time in the sculpture department exploring wood carving and bronze casting. I found these mediums most suited to my need to express myself, since they followed on far more naturally from my style of drawing and sketching ideas.

  My main influences and inspirations derived from a deep fascination and appreciation of the beauty of the natural cycles of the days, seasons, moons, weather, etc, but ultimately from the transitions through birth, maturity, death and rebirth. I felt the need to relate my own interpretations of my immediate environment and personal experiences through a physical and spiritual dependance on the relative order and spontaneous rhythms of these basic natural energies, contrasted to my unwilling involvement and dependance on a fast emerging modern technological world.

  I identified with the apparently primitive yet highly stylized pre-Christian imagery of Europe that survived to become an integral, cryptic element of Romanesque architecture in the cathedrals and churches, redefined to co-exist 'harmoniously' within their new theological environment. This eventually this led to the desire to animate the 'life' trapped within the wood and stone carvings, and I discovered marionettes, kinetic art, and automatons as perfect mediums to incorporate my interests and skills.

  I really enjoy the challenge of developing the right controls to make a string puppet move in a way necessary to portray its nature, often playing with the scale of features and design of jointing to enhance the qualities of the character.

 I intend to progress into puppet theatre performance and am currently discussing a project with the puppeteer Graham Moffat in collaboration with Puppet Animation Scotland.