Symon Mcintyre (Vision Mechanics): 'Storm will stress the positive way in which communities can bond together'

Symon Mcintyre of Vision Mechanics: 'Storm will stress the positive way in which communities can bond together'

credit: Neil Hanna

The eye of the storm, and puppetry with a political conscience from the Edinburgh-based theatre company

A goddess like no other, Storm comes to Glasgow this weekend as part of Celtic Connections' inaugural event. The ten-metre high puppet, the largest in Scotland, is created from materials which have all been entirely recycled, and is the brainchild of Vision Mechanics, the theatre company based in Leith who make work that interrogates modern crises. Operated by eight puppeteers, and featuring stirring folk music from Mairi Campbell and Dave Grey, she moves from the Clyde through the streets to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Director Symon Mcintyre explains the project: 'Our work links us to the environment and now climate change – see Embrace, Giants in the Forest, Forest Creatures, Greenhouse and Drift! When we saw 2020 was to be a Year of Coast and Waters and that the brief was "Awakening the giant," we imagined a goddess, arisen from the sea … Storm is the voice of the sea, she has protected us for so long from the effects of climate change. Now she wants to witness what we are doing for her,' he says.

He emphasises that she acts as a totem of collective responsibility, adding: 'Storm will stress the positive way in which communities can bond together, and the way in which the arts in particular can create events that cross generations and social classes. We hope that we can work and be together and make change.'

Storm draws upon many interlinked themes, and Mcintyre is quick to point out the political implications of this creation. 'Climate change, global warming, melting ice caps, zones of dead ocean, plastic islands the size of Wales. Marine conservation, six mile fishing ban, I could go on. We can't just sit around, we need to do something, and we make puppets. We love puppets, and the power and magic they can embody, so we hope that Storm as both amazing sculptural giant and wonderful puppet will inspire people to make change with a carnival spirit of coming together.'

Storm awakens by the Clyde at Victoria Bridge, Glasgow, Sat 18 Jan, 10am. Part of Celtic Connections and touring across Scotland.


Outdoor theatrical event featuring the ten-metre tall puppet Storm, from Edinburgh's Vision Mechanics.