Australian Contemporary
Puppetry Residency

Infrared image
Design: Skye Hamilton
Photography: Sophia Purvis

The Australian Contemporary Puppetry Residency has been established to support the development of new contemporary puppetry projects in Australia. It is open to Australian individual artists and independent organisations and ensembles working in theatre, dance, live art or contemporary performance. As its central aim is art-form development, proposed projects can be for any audience, in any context. Terrapin has a broad definition of puppetry and welcomes applicants to define the work’s relationship to puppetry as they wish.

Terrapin will provide artists with accommodation, studio space and access to Terrapin’s technical resources for a two week period, with an extra week able to be negotiated. It will also fund artist fees and travel expenses.

The residency is open to all independent, professional Australian artists, companies and ensembles who are developing a project that relates to puppetry. Companies in receipt of annual or multi-year government funding are ineligible.


Applications for 2018 will open towards the end of 2017.  Watch this page or like Terrapin’s Facebook page for news of when applications will open.


Infrared is a new puppetry work for adult audiences being created through collaboration between the award-winning Lemony S Puppet Theatre & Human Animal Exchange.

Infrared takes us on an exploration of the world from the perspective of the animals around us. Using Charles Foster’s extraordinary book Being a Beast as a springboard, Infrared will delve into the world of humans who traverse from one way of living into another rarely experienced. The project poses questions around existence, ego, perspective and evolution.

We share this planet with an estimated 1 trillion other species and each one of these species perceives the world differently. Infrared will investigate and unpick the human perspective on the world, and offer a chance for audiences to view it from the perspective of other creatures with whom we share this planet. It aims, through shifting these perspectives, to illustrate the relationship between humans and the natural world as a symbiotic relationship, and to expand our understanding of what it is to be human and of our place in the world.  Lemony S Puppet Theatre and Human Animal Exchange will be developing puppets using natural elements including light and water. The two-week residency at Terrapin will be spent exploring the theatrical possibilities of these elemental forms.

Lemony S Puppet Theatre is a small, independent theatre company with a big reputation. Based in Melbourne, their works have been seen throughout Australia and across the world. Their work includes the critically-acclaimed, Green Room Award-winning Captives of the City, which incorporated real time responsive animation to extend the form of puppetry beyond what is expected. Human Animal Exchange experiment with storytelling; harnessing the age-old form of the fireside tale, and pushing the envelope to extend it into a new theatrical mode. Last year, their multi-award-winning production of They Saw a Thylacine kicked off in Tasmania and toured throughout Australia.