Swizzle Circus comes to the Plate Glass Gallery


Swizzle Circus acrobats by Christine Cosby and Rob Elliott.

Third up for Puppet-A-Go-Go’s In The Park residency is Christine Cosby, collaborating with Rob Elliott. Working as Swizzle Studio, Christine and Rob have created a circus scene reminiscent of a classic department store holiday window.

The Swizzle Circus is a carnival diorama with light and movement features, made up of 18 new puppets plus scenic elements. The installation’s main piece is titled “The Cowardly Lion Tamer” and depicts the title character being endlessly chased by a lion on a rotating platform.

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The Cowardly Lion Tamer’s timidity is in stark contrast to the nonplussed poodle in the centre of the ring.

The window exhibit is installed to be viewed from multiple vantage points. Acrobats soar over the circus floor as a human cannonball flies over the audience (which now includes Prince from the previous Puppet-A-Go-Go window). Roustabouts, circus performers, and trained animals look into the Niagara Artists Centre and towards sidewalk passersby.


A pair of roustabouts working for the Swizzle Circus.


The Human Cannonball soars over the crowd. The Puppet-A-Go-Go audience has been given boxes of Lucky Elephant Pink Popcorn and balloons for this month’s circus installation.

In one bit of dark humour, an elephant stands on a railway track next to a sign reading “St. Thomas 1/4 Mile”. This alludes to the southern Ontario town’s main claim to fame: It was here that Jumbo the Elephant was struck and killed by a train in 1885.


Unlucky Jumbo the Elephant.

You can see photos of all the Swizzle Circus puppets here: http://swizzlestudio.com/2016/12/the-swizzle-circus/

Swizzle Circus is on view until December 31, 2016.

Puppet-A-Go-Go In the Park features four one-month installations by Clelia Scala, Trisha Lavoie, Christine Cosby (with Rob Elliott), and Alexa Fraser. It is on display 24 hours a day in the front window of the Niagara Artists Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Puppet-A-Go-Go In The Park runs until January 31, 2017.