Megan Rose on her new puppet production ‘The Jam Makers’

Date published: 27 May 2021

Posted by: Joe Pick

Megan Rose using an overhead projector

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Megan Rose is an Illustrator from Nottingham. She is one of five young artists to receive a City Arts bursary supporting them to create a show for the Nottingham Puppet Festival.

Megan’s show The Jam Makers in an immersive installation featuring a 15mins animated film. It is being presented in the Broadway Gallery on Heathcote Street, with regular showings throughout Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th June. Get your tickets from the Puppet Festival website!

Megan Rose using an overhead projector for her puppet show

Ahead of the festival, we spoke to Megan about the show, the support she has received from City Arts and her plans for the future. Read the interview below.

Hi Megan. Tell us about you show, and how it came about?

“The show is called ‘The Jam Makers’. I know it sounds totally clichéd but the idea for it actually came to me in a dream. It’s a dark and mysterious tale that centres around a small coastal village on a remote tip of the British Isles, and the strange events that occur there when all the villages get a delivery of the most delicious jam they have ever tasted. The work first took shape as a nearly published picture book, and then as a stuck together zine (which will be available at the show). Its current form is a shadow puppet installation made with ink and acetate, brought to life with an overhead projector!”

Why did you choose puppetry to tell this story?

“I am an illustrator, and although I do make some digital work, the vast majority of it is done by hand using tangible materials like ink and paper and pencil crayons. My work is down to earth, rooted in everyday humour and absurdism. It is meant to be laughed at and interacted with. I don’t like to think of it on the wall of a gallery where it can’t be experienced, used or touched. This is why puppetry captures my imagination. The art form feels very tangible and real. It is the perfect way to translate my illustrations into moving living beings.”

Projection of an illustrated Jam Jar

You were awarded a bursary from City Arts to develop this show. How has this helped you?

“The bursary has cleared a path for me to realise this story in a form I never thought possible. It has legitimised the idea itself, and allowed me to grow the project into something completely different. Thanks to the bursary I have been able to support other local artists by collaborating with them on aspects of the show. I am also able to give copies of the zine away because of it.”

What are your top tips for people starting out on their creative journey?

Think carefully about what you like. I’m not talking about what the world is trying to tell you to like, what do you ACTUALLY like? What speaks to you? If you can zero in on your niche, that is where the true magic happens.

Also play. Play very often and never take yourself too seriously!

illustration of multiple jam jars, projected

What are your plans for the future?

“After the past year I’ve been craving space. I’d love to experiment with taking my illustrations to a much larger scale. I’ve also got really into drawing craggy mountainous landscapes, as a form of escapism. I’m sure I can feel a troll based story of some sort lurking in the back of my mind…”

Find out more about Megan’s work