What is it about?

The experience of working and living during lockdown was physically and emotionally felt as one of reduction. This article reflects on the experience of home working facilitated through the screen, describing in retrospect, the making of a puppet which was used to voice that experience. It considers the production and exhibition of the puppet, thinking about how the object facilitated a greater understanding of feelings about health.

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Why is it important?

Written in a way which which privileged both the eye of sight and the I of the individual subject, the work attempts to honestly relate complex feelings about physical and mental health considered during a time of fearful change. The isolation and new working practices precipitated by lockdown protocols allowed a space for making, thinking, and reflection which is necessary if the experience can be archived rather than lost. The restrictions of lockdown required innovation and gave space for new ways of making - this article explains the cultural and social impetus for the creation of the puppet, making links between screened and screen trauma.


I found writing the article an incredibly emotional experience, fraught with risk as it was so personal. As well as the intellectual risk of writing an academic piece, this article eschewed my usual method, using instead a more open and subjective approach. Such subjectivity was vital for true authenticity and I found this move powerful and transformative, shifting my practice in a productive way - a liberation. I hope others find reading about my experience of making a puppet and sharing it with others interesting and amusing, and indeed, feel inspired to make their own to articulate that which they find challenging.

Dr Clair Schwarz
University of the West of England

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Iris in, Iris out: Reflections on the production, exhibition and viewing of a bisected-eyeball hand-puppet, Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, September 2022, Intellect, DOI: 10.1386/jwcp_00042_1.
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