Almost a year ago I was approached by Wakefield Literature Festival to deliver a family focussed story-driven and highly visual event as part of their program. After several days of head scratching and chin rubbing, I took the first letters of the festival name (WLF) and came up with Walter Lemon Face. After working with fellow 154 Collective artists Dan Mallaghan, Benjamin Rabe and Nick Lewis, the stories, images and sounds of Walter's world started to emerge. We had the vision of a mini pop-up cinema style tent that could house a large projection screen, 3 artists and a small audience. After a period of research we acquired a 4m x 3m blackout gazebo, a screen and repurposed a projector from another project, and it just worked!!
Initially the stories were simplistic and a little bit clunky, but they were also creative, slightly bonkers, charming, and most importantly of all, fun!
Since those early days Walter LemonFace has shared his stories at a number of venues and events in and around Yorkshire, including Bradford, Halifax and Saltaire Festivals. He has also delivered shows at Arc Stockton in the North East and is poised to embark on a week long residency in Kirklees Libraries during October half term, following a show at Leeds Central Library. Recently Walter LemonFace and the 154 Collective have received a small grant from Arts Council England to develop the show, and are working on a feature length piece to tour cinemas in 2015.
Walter LemonFace is a joy to be involved in. It fuses live drawing, animation, music and storytelling into an intimate family show that appeals to children and adults alike.
Catch him at a venue near you soon!
All photos by Yvonne Roberts