Re-interpreting stories or epics is a daunting task — and when such stories are from the Bible, and that too in the form of a puppet show, it is even more challenging and interesting.
That’s what artist Sonia Rodrigues Sabharwal is exploring with her puppet show titled, ‘Miracles of Christ,’ which will be held on April 16 at 6.45 pm. This show is part of an on-going group art exhibition ‘Engraved Treasures, Part II’ at the Museum of Christian Art (MoCA), Old Goa.
Sonia is also showcasing her paintings at this show based on the same theme.
ABOUT THE SHOW
It is said that during His public ministry, Jesus Christ performed several miracles. The puppet show has been developed in response to the engravings from the 18th century Bible, and will be based on three miracles performed by Christ.
These three miracles are ‘The feeding of the 5,000’; Miraculous catch of fish; and ‘The transformation of water into wine at the wedding at Cana’.
LOVE FOR PUPPETRY
For Sonia, making puppets is like going back to her journey as an artist when she started making puppets on a commercial scale when she was just 20. One could say that instead of her, it is the puppetry that chose her.
“It was somewhere in 1989 that my father’s workshop closed down. At that time, it used to employ around 30 women, who had become jobless. So, I stepped in and came up with this idea of making dolls and puppets from cloth in order to give employment to these women,” says Sonia, who maintained that she had to literally train these women in basic tailoring and so on.
Sonia had just graduated from Goa College of Art, so making puppets was natural. Also, right from her childhood, she would make dolls inspired by her mother, who was a seamstress.
These toys, which were made from cloth, became the talk of the town and she also managed to get noticed by the Office of the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts, New Delhi, during an exhibition of her puppets and dolls at Kala Academy. Due to this, her puppets went to different parts of the country.
Her puppets have been showcased at different events, like the Fontainhas Festival, and were also part of Wendell Rodrick’s fashion show in 2004.
Currently, Sonia is busy making puppets for the show with the help of her friend, Anita Viegas. Speaking about her current show she states that making these puppets is one-of-its kind for her as they are based on stories from the Bible.
She adds that her puppets are not string puppets which people generally associate with puppetry. It will mainly include glove and stick puppets. The show will be narrated by Frazer Andrade.
When asked if she feels that puppetry is a dying art, Sonia maintains that this art form has lot of scope, especially when working with children. “I believe puppetry enhances a child’s imagination. It helps in confidence-building and the best part is that children, themselves, can make their own puppets where parents can help them in building this creative form.”
The puppet show, 'Miracles of Christ', by Sonia Rodrigues Sabharwal, will be held on April 16 at 6.45 pm.
It will be followed by ‘Resurrection Resonance – an acoustic composition’ by Divesh Gadekar at 7.30 pm at the Church of Santa Monica, Old Goa.
For reservations and further information, whatsapp +91 83088 05399 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Arti Das is a freelance journalist based in Goa. She loves writing about art, culture and the ecology of Goa.