Introducing Brillo The Snail on the Rainbow Window Trail
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My objective for this art work is to address this problem of mental anguish during isolation and change by engaging the public with 10ft tall touring puppet on wheels in the form of a luminescent gold and rainbow snail named Brillo (Spanish word for shine.) Brillo will visit people under quarantine, children and families in particular, from the safe distance of the street to create a sense of delight and relief from stress related to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The goal is to create a sense of wonder, joy and temporary relief from the stresses and frustrations stemming from this necessary quarantine. Already children around the world are placing rainbows in their windows in a show of solidarity with the fight to flatten the curve against Covid-19. The snail puppet will follow the trail of rainbows in the windows of the children here in Albuquerque to increase the sense of hope and reinvigorate the dedication to fight against the invisible virus. Brillo wants to relieve some of the tension by creating a diversion that will bring people to their windows and away from their virtual screens.
From around the world, folkloric creatures like the Vejigantes of Puerto Rico and Spain, the Kukeri of Bulgaria, Zozobra of Santa Fe have a long history of fighting off invisible woes and worries by creating terrific and whimsical disruption from the everyday by using fantastic feathered, furred, animated costumery and puppetry. The street procession of these creatures is known to ritualize healing, fight off sickness and scare away evils. A simple break from the heavy mundanity of long-term isolation and mental illness that can come from it is necessary to ease the mind and calm the spirit. Brillo the snail is a symbol of joy and light heartedness, but also one of bringing your safety with you wherever you go, and of folk style communal ritualized healing that can be done at a safe distance. To bring a 10ft tall puppet out on the emptied streets of Albuquerque is to stoke the morale of our city which has been striving in the fight against the pandemic. Brillo’s presence will lift spirits of all who see him.