We caught up with Rebekah Caputo to find out about her time on the MA Creative Practice...

Why did you choose Leeds Arts University?    

I have always seen training and personal development as a vital part of my practice. Prior to taking this course I would regularly attend making and manipulation courses in puppetry, however, craved a more in depth study, personal to my needs and creative ideas. Leeds Arts University offered specialist support, a vocation based course and the chance to develop my practice to a higher academic standard.

What made you select the MA Creative Practice?

I had been planning to complete an MA for some time but struggled to find a course adaptable enough for someone who already had a clear focus to their practice, and who had been working within their profession for sometime. This course seemed to give the right amount of push to develop my individual practice to a higher level whilst being flexible enough to accommodate a puppeteer!

What do you really enjoy about your MA and the University?

I love working in the workshops and learning from the technicians, they are a fountain of knowledge and really form the backbone of the University. They offer specialist advice to develop the engineering aspect of my practical work and help evolve my understanding of materials and construction methods.

I also love the diversity on the course and sharing my ideas and practice with people from all sorts of disciplines. This is something I normally would not get the chance to do.

What are you currently working on - what area do you specialise in?

I am currently developing a piece of table-top puppetry I can perform and tour individually. I am hoping it will be versatile enough to be performed in galleries, at arts events, festivals and theatres. The piece includes an old lady rod puppet called Joyce with a series of release mechanisms so on cue her limbs and jaw can fall off, as well as exploration into object manipulation with found objects. I am collaborating with a sound designer to create a score based on the natural sounds the puppet and objects make. The piece will explore old age and our attitudes towards our physical form, as we grow old.

Alongside this I conduct regular experiments into improvised object and material manipulation and sound, utilising various abandoned buildings and collaborating with additional puppeteers, musicians and filmmakers.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

I find inspiration everywhere, but especially in people. I love observing how people move, speak and express themselves. It is through observing and people and their behaviors I develop characters.

I see faces and creatures in everything, a boot, a tractor or a spoon. I especially love hunting for weird and wonderful objects at car boots and charity shops.

What do you plan to do after University?

I plan to carry on making work, to continue meeting and collaborating with new artists and hopefully work more outside of the UK. I hope the solo piece I develop as part of the course will enable me to attended and perform at puppetry festivals, as well as, having a piece of work to perform where ever I am and what ever I am doing.

I also hope the writing I complete as part of this course and my studies into manipulation and sound will offer opportunity to attend conferences and meet other people working in this field

Tell us what you like about Leeds? 

I love Leeds for its creative community. I have lived here for ten years and my colleagues and collaborators are also my friends. There is an excellent network of creative people, which is continually growing and I am happy to say I am always meeting new people to learn from and work with.