Ballard Institute

Artist Spotlight: Gavin Cummins creates “Ok, Love You, Bye”

Meet Gavin Cummins, a Puppet Arts MFA candidate and a graduate assistant at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry. Gavin has been hard at work this semester creating his MFA project titled, “Ok, Love You, Bye.” This piece uses memory metaphor and shadow puppetry to explore the confusing inner life of one’s personal grief. “I feel grief is something that is experienced by everyone yet also very isolating,” says Gavin. He hopes to create something that people can relate to in such a chaotic state. While there is no sanctioned way to grieve, Gavin explores the possibilities and hopes to create a connection.

This piece is a devised piece, meaning it was mostly created in the rehearsal room. Gavin brought a basic outline of what he wanted and some mock puppets to rehearsal and then played around to see what worked and what didn’t. The piece evolved based on his discoveries. He builds what he needs during the day and rehearses at night.

Upon graduating in the spring, Gavin plans to move back to Seattle to make puppets and puppet shows with which he can tour the country, hopefully coming through New England again. See “Ok, Love You, Bye” in the MFA Puppet Arts Festival this March!