“…it’s the cardboard costumes used to denote the various human and animal characters in the play that are so immensely appealing. Using just the standard dirt brown cardboard of everyday boxes and a black magic marker, [Eli] Nixon creates a fanciful menagerie of creatures…”
-New York Times On Pig Iron’s Cankerblossom
I can build anything out of cardboard. I specialize in things with faces.
I teach workshops and take commissions. I work on my own or with kids and adults to build puppets, masks, sculptures, sculptural installations, toy theaters and other 3D magic out of cardboard and mostly recyclable materials.
WORKSHOPS / RESIDENCIES
I love to travel around and build parades, puppet shows, beastyatas & corrugated communities (see below) or other cardboard constructions (often, but not always involving paper-mache) with groups of all kinds. You collect the cardboard, I arrive with my suitcase of tools and we go hog wild. I prefer to work with groups for a week or longer. I’ve worked with preschoolers to seniors, groups of just a few folks to hundreds of people at once. Please be in touch to discuss ways we could work together.
The history of pinata-type art making can be traced to regions all over the world. I take inspiration from the possibilities those other cultures have birthed and interpret the form through my own lens as BEASTYATAS. I build Beastyatas on commission and lead workshops on Beastyata building. We can smash to celebrate and/or we can identify fears, injustices, or oppressive forces we want to destroy to inform our creations, and then we figure out what bursts forth from inside. Can culminate in costumed, performative bashing or preserved intact for future needs…
We can build castles, huts, mazes, tunnels, you name it. These photos are from a Corrugated Community project I partnered on with New Urban Arts. (Funded by The Providence Department of Art, Culture and Tourism.) With 7 teenagers and an assistant, I spent 2 weeks traveling to city parks, building cardboard structures for kids to play in and draw on. We hosted a series of performances and workshops in our cardboard town square each afternoon.