Two Grantees on Their Artistic Journey
Did you know that over 99% of each dollar donated to the Bouddi Foundation for the Arts (BFA) is awarded to young Central Coast Artists? We catch up with two awardees whose careers are energised by BFA Grants made possible by generous donors to the Foundation. If these updates move you, please consider helping at bouddiarts.org.au and click on the DONATE button.
Gabrielle ‘Gab’ Paananen - Puppet maker, designer, sculptor, visual artist, taxidermist, and mycologist. With her most recent BFA grant, Gab from Macmasters Beach, NSW has just returned from a trip and practicum working with a master taxidermist in the US. Let’s hear about her accomplishments in Gab’s own words:
“I’m back home from the US and had a fantastic time. The time I spent working in Master Taxidermist Patrick Rummans’ studio in Oregon was invaluable. I’m so excited to now be putting everything I learned into practice. Part of the training was developing skills in taxidermy/specimen preservation. Patrick specialises in ornithology and has a vast knowledge of bird anatomy and behaviour. Much of his work ends up in special collections and natural history museums. I spent time drawing and re-sculpting the anatomy so these birds [transformed into animatronic puppets] could be as lifelike as possible.
I was taught methods of preparing skin for puppets and moving parts. I learnt moulding and casting techniques and how to create hyper-realistic wing mechanisms. One of these creature effects will be shot in a feature film later this year at Legacy Effects - a special effects studio in Los Angeles that specialises in creature design and animatronics.
Since my return, I’ve set up my workshop to practice everything I learned overseas and develop my sculpture work. I am already planning to go back and work with Patrick to collaborate on projects. I’ve just spent another week welding steel sculptures at the National Art School in Sydney. Sculpture is something I feel very drawn to, and I would like to pursue it further next year.
I am working as Lead Designer on the production ‘Arc’ for Sydney Opera House, showing 24 September – 7 October. I designed all the puppets and worked with the team at Erth to construct them. This is the link to the show: sydneyoperahouse.com/events/whats-on/Kids-and-Families/2022/arc.html#faq. After the Opera House, we will be at the State Theatre in Melbourne in October. I am also putting a couple of welded steel sculptures in a group show at the aMBUSH Gallery in Waterloo on the 23rd -25th September. ambushgallery.com
As always, sending my deep appreciation for the Bouddi Foundation’s ongoing support.”
Ruby Archer – Singer/Songwriter. Ruby from Phegans Bay, NSW styles herself as “a young singer-songwriter who creates angry, jazzy pop with feminist undertones and husky vocals.”
Ruby won the Bouddi Foundation ORiGiN Music Publishing Award in 2020, including professional mentoring, followed by the BFA Narelle Jones Memorial Award in 2021. As one of BFA’s adjudicators noted: “She has ‘it’! Great jazz sound to her voice and excellent piano technique and personality.” Another commended her song writing: “Excellent raw emotional material.”
In June, Ruby won third place and an encouragement award in the Speak Up, National Singer/Song Writer Competition encouraging teenagers to share original music and shine a light on the importance of mental health and wellness for young Australians.
In July 2022, Ruby, with her band, ‘Ruby and the Groovy Doobys’, scored the top prize and a Special Finalist Award in the YouthRock competition for bands who write original music.
Also, in July, Ruby played the role of Veronica in the ABC ME series “Soundtrack to Our Teenage Zombie Apocalypse.” As she described it: “Four music obsessed teens are on a mission to win triple j Unearthed High – so the end of the world will have to wait. Soundtrack To Our Teenage Zombie Apocalypse is a 10×30 min ABC ME series offering action-packed, cranked-to-11, zombie-fueled fun!”
We’ll take Ruby’s word for the ABC series, but there is no doubt that with a jump start from BFA awards thanks to our generous donors, this young Central Coast artist is well on her way.