Despite the humidity hanging over Hull Street in Manchester, Lily Lamberta sits hard at work for her ten year retrospective installation, a puppet conte storia show (an ancient form of storytelling),
Despite the humidity hanging over Hull Street in Manchester, Lily Lamberta sits hard at work for her ten year retrospective installation, a puppet conte storia show (an ancient form of storytelling), that opens this Friday, October 2nd at the Carnival of 5 Fires event at Gallery5.
In the studio of All the Saints Puppet Library, Lamberta, Founder and Director of All the Saints Theater Company, precisely cuts into cardboard and fastens together rubber tire tubes with ease.
“The puppet will be waiting until I pull it forward from still-life,” Lamberta said.
With her vibrant teal hair color, acrylic paint dancing on her lunar-inspired clothing, and mystical puppets surrounding her workspace, nothing but magic drowns the artist in her studio/puppet library. This eclectic set of images paints the picture of the amount of diligence that Lamberta as an artist has put into her puppets for All the Saints Theater Company which is celebrating its 10 year legacy here in Richmond this month.
“At All the Saints Theater Company we turn to old world tradition, and that’s what inspires most of the work that is done,” Lamberta said. “I try to figure out how to use the puppets as an old world inspired performer and an artist to connect the dots between art and activism.”
All the Saints Theater Company’s retrospective show will include life-sized interactive marionettes draped in recycled fabric, a decade’s worth of puppets from past productions, street style shows, Halloween events, and spaghetti dinners (a traditional cabaret ritual held by All the Saints Theater Company), and more.
The installation show will be a pre-celebratory event for All the Saints Theater Company’s 10th annual Halloween Parade later this month. Lamberta will be holding open workshops until then to prepare for the event.
“I approach each street action Halloween parade like a Dixieland funeral march,” Lamberta said regarding the 10th annual Halloween Parade held every year since 2006. “This year the theme is for individual and collective depression. The idea is to unite and fight this solitary depression that we as individuals put on ourselves, and by doing collaborative works within the community.”
Before the much anticipated Halloween parade at the end of the month, All the Saints Theater Company will celebrate a bit early in collaboration with Gallery5, which is also celebrating 10 years. Festivities will kick off with the annual Carnival of 5 Fires event at Gallery5 on Friday with a slew of month-long slew events to follow.
Parker Galore, an organizer of the Carnival of 5 Fires event, gave RVA Mag a glimpse back into Gallery5’s humble beginnings.
“We started Gallery5 the same year as All the Saints and we quickly pulled Lily into G5 to bring what she wanted to the space,” Galore said. “Those early years, she brought Spaghetti Dinner theater nights to the space and the bond formed even deeper from there. So, it just makes sense to honor her decade of efforts and creativity during the carnival.”
With that being said, wandering into Gallery5 this weekend during the kick off event for the Carnival of 5 Fires will feel exactly like that mystical moment when a bold red and white striped tent is being peeled open for you, and in that new realm, an intriguing show will unfold before your eyes.
“The Carnival of 5 Fires is exciting because at Gallery5 we work really hard to create different environments with all kinds of things happening at once,” he said. “The gallery has developed leaps and bounds over the past decade. We opened with the mission of being an ambitious space with a group of people that were dedicated to showcasing all the amazing artists, musicians and performers that we felt weren’t given proper. We’ve never felt afraid to house all kinds of creativity and that will never change.”
The Carnival of 5 Fires will open this Friday with a mesmerizing pyro circus street show by Party Liberation Front, a collective of artists, musicians and other performers that played a role in giving the carnival its eponymous name. They get the party started basically. Below is a video of some past performances that will sure to light a fire in you:
The PLF crew includes the region’s most talented fire breathers and performers that will be swinging and scorching the night’s air with hypnotizing pyro tricks and performances at the Carnival this weekend.
Inside Gallery5 along with All the Saints Theater Company’s retrospective installation, there will be performances by ringmistress Deanna Danger and a variety show that includes burlesque, bellydancing, sideshows, singing and comedy.
There will also be a Bizarre Market with oddity vendors, artists, henna, tarot and caricature drawings that will transform Gallery5 into a new world to celebrate this old world tradition of carnival culture.
“It’s about the happening, it’s about coming to the performance of the show, it’s not about taking something home that’s physical, but an experience that will be tied to you,” Lamberta said.
Sinners and saints of all ages are welcome to the oddities contained at the Carnival of 5 Fires this Friday October 2 at Gallery5 from 7pm-Midnight. The Carnival of 5 Fires will have a lot of cool events going on throughout October so stay tuned for updates on that!