© 2017 - Peterborough Festival Inc. All photographs copyright by their respective owners. Web design by Ian Redpath
Bob the Railway Dog Statue
In 2007, under the guidance of Mary Martin and a small committee, Peterborough hosted the first Peterborough Art & Cultural Festival to compliment the very successful Peterborough Art Prize.  It was the perfect opportunity for community groups to showcase their talents with beautiful quilts, History displays, music, markets and open gardens.  Since then, some events have changed, but the Festival has grown.   A popular addition has been the Papier Mache/Wireworks Exhibition.  It all started when a theme was needed for the 2011 Festival.  Committee member Margaret Ball suggested papier mache figures.  Everyone looked quizzical, with thoughts of balloons and pigs.  “No, no” Margaret said.  “I mean lifesize things, I’ve seen them in Burnie, Tasmania”.  Margaret had seen the remarkable work of Ruth Rees and Pam Thorne.  The idea was accepted and Ruth and Pam were contacted.  Thanks to a grant from Country Arts SA and local sponsorship, Ruth and Pam came to Peterborough and spent several days teaching a keen group of people the basics of ‘lifesize’ papier mache figure-making.  We were hooked! The initial workshop was held in Frank and Margaret Hardbottles’ shed, where we hung our wire forms from the rafters.  Margaret made 100 litres of flour and water paste which was consumed by our wire and paper figures. A new venue was needed to finish these works and to create new ones. The District Council of Peterborough gave us permission to use the old Railway Goods Shed, which had been abandoned for years.  Armed with brooms, shovels and wheelbarrows, the Festival committee cleaned up years of thick dust in the smaller section of the old shed. New workshops started in Feb 2011 and more creations emerged.  A passionate group of people ranging in age from 11 to 76 years created a variety of figures including humans, animals and figures of fantasy. We liked the old Goods Shed so much, we decided to hold an exhibition there as part of the Peterborough Art & Cultural Festival.  Pam and Ruth suggested we paint all the figures white to give the exhibition uniformity.  The dim natural light in the shed added to the atmosphere, giving the white figures an unearthly glow.  Pam Thorne came back to Peterborough to open the exhibition and was thrilled with our work.  We believe this was the first exhibition of life-size Papier Mache figures in mainland Australia. We like to think of Peterborough as ’The home of Papier Mache in South Australia.’ Peterborough Festival Inc. is the organising body for the Peterborough Art & Cultural Festival and the Papier Mache/Wireworks group.  Our permanent display showcases a range of papier mache figures and includes the Goods Shed Gallery – photos of all the figures made since those first workshops. We have extended our skills to include ‘Wireworks’, which has also become very popular. Thanks to support from the District Council of Peterborough, the former Peterborough Tourism Inc., Festival committee members and other community members, the Goods Shed now has a new floor, new skylights, new trestles and dramatic black walls which show off the white figures beautifully. To raise funds we photograph the figures and sell the photos during the Art & Cultural Festival exhibitions.  A group member also makes a figure to raffle each year.  One of the best things about working with a group is the way we share our creative ideas, working out how to do things as the need arises. Workshops are held in the Goods Shed on Sunday and Monday each week from September/October to March.  

Papier Mache & Wireworks

Our Peterborough

South Australia

Movie Clip - Beginings of the Papier Mache Workshop / Exhibition in Peterborough

Peterborough Art & Cultural Festival – The Papier Mache Story

First papier mache workshops in Frank and Marg's shed Nov 2010 Judith Kempen with Salvador Darling Judy Evans works on Bowler Papier Mache Workshops, Goods Shed, March 2011 Tennyson's Eagle by Bridget Jenkiins 2013
From the Visitors Book “Absolutely magnificent” “Stunningly great display” “Now I know what I should have done with old fences...” “Inspiring & wonderful”
Bob's Story Bob Raffle
In 2007, under the guidance of Mary Martin and a small committee, Peterborough hosted the first Peterborough Art & Cultural Festival to compliment the very successful Peterborough Art Prize.  It was the perfect opportunity for community groups to showcase their talents with beautiful quilts, History displays, music, markets and open gardens.  Since then, some events have changed, but the Festival has grown.   A popular addition has been the Papier Mache/Wireworks Exhibition.  It all started when a theme was needed for the 2011 Festival.  Committee member Margaret Ball suggested papier mache figures.  Everyone looked quizzical, with thoughts of balloons and pigs.  “No, no” Margaret said.  “I mean lifesize things, I’ve seen them in Burnie, Tasmania”.  Margaret had seen the remarkable work of Ruth Rees and Pam Thorne.  The idea was accepted and Ruth and Pam were contacted.  Thanks to a grant from Country Arts SA and local sponsorship, Ruth and Pam came to Peterborough and spent several days teaching a keen group of people the basics of ‘lifesize’ papier mache figure-making.  We were hooked! The initial workshop was held in Frank and Margaret Hardbottles’ shed, where we hung our wire forms from the rafters.  Margaret made 100 litres of flour and water paste which was consumed by our wire and paper figures. A new venue was needed to finish these works and to create new ones. The District Council of Peterborough gave us permission to use the old Railway Goods Shed, which had been abandoned for years.  Armed with brooms, shovels and wheelbarrows, the Festival committee cleaned up years of thick dust in the smaller section of the old shed. New workshops started in Feb 2011 and more creations emerged.  A passionate group of people ranging in age from 11 to 76 years created a variety of figures including humans, animals and figures of fantasy. We liked the old Goods Shed so much, we decided to hold an exhibition there as part of the Peterborough Art & Cultural Festival.  Pam and Ruth suggested we paint all the figures white to give the exhibition uniformity.  The dim natural light in the shed added to the atmosphere, giving the white figures an unearthly glow.  Pam Thorne came back to Peterborough to open the exhibition and was thrilled with our work.  We believe this was the first exhibition of life-size Papier Mache figures in mainland Australia. We like to think of Peterborough as ’The home of Papier Mache in South Australia.’ Peterborough Festival Inc. is the organising body for the Peterborough Art & Cultural Festival and the Papier Mache/Wireworks group.  Our permanent display showcases a range of papier mache figures and includes the Goods Shed Gallery – photos of all the figures made since those first workshops. We have extended our skills to include ‘Wireworks’, which has also become very popular. Thanks to support from the District Council of Peterborough, the former Peterborough Tourism Inc., Festival committee members and other community members, the Goods Shed now has a new floor, new skylights, new trestles and dramatic black walls which show off the white figures beautifully. To raise funds we photograph the figures and sell the photos during the Art & Cultural Festival exhibitions.  A group member also makes a figure to raffle each year.  One of the best things about working with a group is the way we share our creative ideas, working out how to do things as the need arises. Workshops are held in the Goods Shed on Sunday and Monday each week from September/October to March.  

Our Peterborough

South Australia

© 2016 - Peterborough Festival Inc. All photographs copyright by their respective owners. Web design by Ian Redpath

Papier Mache

& Wireworks