In fall, 2011, Anne was commissioned by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to create a shadow puppet piece based on their Edo-Pop exhibit. According to Dr. Matthew Welch, ukiyo-e refers to a type of “pop” imagery produced in Japan …“from the late seventeenth century through the nineteenth century, which reflected the tastes and proclivities of a rising class of urban commoners.” The 20-minute piece that Sawyer-Aitch created – called “Shadows from the Floating World” – was performed with Soozin Hirschmugl and Kaori Kenmotsu on November 13th at the MIA as part of their free Target Family Day series. Anne is looking for other opportunities to develop and expand this piece.
Other projects in this past few months included creating postcard art and color shadow puppets for May Lee Yang’s Confessions of a Lazy Hmong Woman. Anne borrowed heavily from Hmong tapestry art (Paj Ntaub) to create the look for these pieces.
Anne also directed a street puppet pageant based on the Finnish Kalevala for the New York Mills Cultural Festival this past August. This included teaching some of the townspeople (children and adults) to stilt. It definitely gave the pageant some heightened visibility. The participants built the puppets with her guidance and performed the pageant, backed by the thoroughly delightful folk musicians, Curtis and Loretta.