The Swizzle Circus is a carnival diorama with light and movement features, made up of 18 new puppets plus scenic elements. It was created by Christine Cosby and Rob Elliott for Puppet-A-Go-Go’s In The Park four-month residency at the Niagara Artists Centre’s Plate Glass Gallery.
The carnival scene, made up of 18 purpose-designed puppets plus scenic elements, is reminiscent of a classic department store holiday window.
The installation’s main piece is titled “The Cowardly Lion Tamer” and depicts the title character being endlessly chased by a lion on a rotating platform.
The window exhibit is installed to be viewed from multiple vantage points. Acrobats soar over the circus floor as a human cannonball flies over the audience (which now includes Prince from the previous Puppet-A-Go-Go window). Roustabouts, circus performers, and trained animals look into the Niagara Artists Centre and towards sidewalk passersby.
In one bit of dark humour, an elephant stands on a railway track next to a sign reading “St. Thomas 1/4 Mile”. This alludes to the southern Ontario town’s main claim to fame: It was here that Jumbo the Elephant was struck and killed by a train in 1885.
Swizzle Circus is on view until December 31, 2016.
Puppet-A-Go-Go In the Park features four one-month installations by Clelia Scala, Trisha Lavoie, Christine Cosby (with Rob Elliott), and Alexa Fraser. It is on display 24 hours a day in the front window of the Niagara Artists Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Puppet-A-Go-Go In The Park runs until January 31, 2017.