“Young Novice in Woodland Temple” is a stop-motion animation installation setting within the theme of contemporary high fantasy, staged with a functional stop-motion animation puppet of a young character of female gender, holding a weapon in hand. The project is meant to allow viewers to experience what would be a behind-the-scenes of an actual stop-motion animation production piece. The puppet character is staged facing the entrance of the Frog Temple, posed with sword in hand, their weapon meant to be a symbol of power, as this character is alone on their quest within this dark, woodland forest. The Frog Temple, though ancient and daunting in the middle of this woodland forest, is meant to add a bit of childlike wonder and magical lore to the theme of scenery, as frogs are used as a symbol of mischievous cuteness within this project.
The style of my puppet character is dressed in functional, heavy layered winter clothing within Medieval-inspired fashion, as is common within the theme of high fantasy stories. By building off contemporary forms of character representations, my project is aimed to portray a fabricated puppet design featuring characteristic qualities which deviate away from traditional gender-based roles and stereotypes in order to allow for a more broadened range of character representations, specifically, for female characters. To accomplish this, my character’s design displays more of a focus on clothing and costume functionality (appropriate for the elements of the forest) over unnecessary “gender based” exaggerated features and accessories- such as skirts, bows and accentuated breast plates, for example. My project’s focus is not in opposition to other forms of representations, but more about broadening the overall range and aiming away from gender-specific representations, in order to show that gendered characters don’t always have to dress in a particular way just due to being M/F/X gender. The specific style choices of my puppet character are overall based on personal taste, and essentially represents a character design that I could have wanted to resonated with at a younger age.