Magic Lantern Studio is a space where a number of projects intersect. We run visual art and puppetry workshops, put on performances and produce artworks, murals and puppets on commission.
We are inspired by forgotten technologies and toys, particularly those of the pre-cinematic world. Take refuge from the digital avalanche for a moment and lose yourself in suspended time, making a toy theatre or diorama; relish the simple delight of early animation toys; say everything you ever wanted to say in the guise of a puppet, or gaze at a Magic Lantern slide for a window into lives once lived .
video by Dean Abraxas 69
After completing a major in painting at the VCA, Lucy worked as a freelance artist and muralist in Spain and Argentina for seven years. Whilst pursuing her private practice from her studio in Barcelona she collaborated in artist collectives such as Nau Ion and VesArteSiempre.
Upon her return to Melbourne four years ago, she founded Magic Lantern Studio with her partner Gonzalo Varela, where they indulge their mutual interest in archaic technologies, the pre cinema world, toy theatres and puppets. Lucy is in the process of completing her Masters of Contemporary Art at The Victorian College of the Arts. She has taught Art at schools in Australia and England and given private tuition to small groups in Spain, Italy and Australia.
Gonzalo’s Artistic career spans over twenty five years and has encompassed Public Art, painting, film, sculpture, theatre and puppet making.
He has taught art at tertiary level at the Universidad de Bellas Artes in La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he taught for a further six years. Afterwards, he took up residencies in Argentina and Barcelona, where he founded Vesartesiempre collective.
Upon his move to Australia, he founded Magic Lantern Studio with his partner Lucy, where together they indulge their love of the pre cinematic world, toy theatres and puppetry.
Gonzalo winner the Green Rooms Awards 2018 in the category puppetry for his work in “Life is a Carousel ” Co-directed with Lachlan Plain, (Santum Theatre)
From his studio at Magic Lantern, Gonzalo teaches, and creates custom made puppets, Theatres, public art commissions, particularly murals and Write scripts for new shows.