|Residency||May - July, 1986|
|Performance||15 July, 1986|
SNAPSHOT '86 - A View of Wangaratta was an artist-in-residency workshop project devised and led by Andrew Hansen assisted by Peter Seaborn, Rob Matson, Ken Evans and Sue Coward for the Wangaratta Community Arts Centre in the rural north-central Victorian city.
The project was an invitation to the community: to interpret their local environment through puppetry.
The initial idea for a puppetry artists-in-resident was mooted after Handspan had spent a week at Wangaratta Technical School in late 1985 leading puppetry workshops for Year 8 students. Malcolm Hansford then Wangaratta's Community Arts Officer took up the proposal and raised funds to host the program and extend it to the wider community.
Plans were developed by Andrew Hansen with Malcolm Hansford and his fellow arts officer, Heather Broadbent in March/April 1986 for a 12-week project that would involve school and community workshops and culminate in a public event about the life of Wangaratta and its North-east Victorian region.
The logistics of an event to include a minimum of 400 young participants across an age range from preschool to tertiary level determined that a pageant incorporating a brief theatrical moment rather than a puppet play or plays, would be an achievable outcome and SNAPSHOT was born.
Jonathan McNaughton took over as Community Arts Officer in mid 1986 and co-ordinated the development of the residency and its network of community connections.
For 10 weeks, puppet making and manipulation workshops were conducted in schools in Wangaratta and surrounding townships (including Edi, Thoona, Everton and Glenrowan), and with adults and community members at evening sessions at Wangaratta's Artspace.
The Public Event that was the climax of the SNAPSHOT project was a parade of over 900 children and puppets through the main street of Wangaratta led by a giant camera created by local artist, Ross Grounds, and worn by Handspan performer, Roberto Micale. Around 1200 residents and visitors lined the streets to view the event and cheer the participants on.
Many local business supported the project with small donations and goods. Several additional Handspan members travelled the highway from Melbourne to assist in the final workshop week and wore bright yellow Handspan banners to became parade marshalls and puppet wranglers for the final event. Special permission was received from Council and the Road Authority to close the main Hume Highway (which then bisected the town) for an hour to enable the street parade and assembly.
The parade crowded the morning mainstreets and the 'Snapshot' of the final assemblage was taken from a cherry picker in Chisholm St before all dispersed to a lunchtime Puppet Picnic and performance exchange in the park.
Supported by the Victorian Arts Council and Wangaratta's City and Community Arts Councils, the project engaged young and old across the community where it was received with curiosity and enthusiasm. Local businesses donated materials and local media and tourism outlets embraced the occasion.
In 1989 when We Repeat Ourselves was toured to Wangaratta schools Handspan was remembered with enthusiasm and was asked to run puppetry workshops schools and in the community in conjunction with the tour.