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Asphyxia

Author, Entertainer, Storyteller/Performer

Asphyxia is the author of the magical new series, The Grimstones. She is an experienced motivational speaker and loves to inspire people to be more creative and open-minded. She handcrafted her Grimstone family of puppets and their world from upcycled junk, and has since toured the world with the acclaimed, award winning theatre show, The Grimstones. Now Asphyxia is ready to inspire students to create their own miniature worlds from ordinary household rubbish.

Where were you born?

Melbourne, Australia

What other jobs have you had?

I grew up doing ballet, became a circus performer in my 20s and a puppeteer in my 30s. I also run an urban eco-farm where I raise the majority of my family’s food.

What themes are recurring in your work?

My work celebrates the acceptance of difference and explores themes of family, love and loss.

What are you passionate about?

Nothing gives me more pleasure than making things. I am passionate about living with the smallest enviro footprint possible, and all the making I do goes hand in hand with this, as I strive to live self-sufficiently on my urban block.

Listen to an interview

Asphyxia was the subject of a story on ABC Radio National on 3 October 2012.

If you prefer, you can visit the story on the Books and Arts Daily sub-site of ABC Radio National.

Watch a video of Asphyxia

Testimonials

The grade 5s and 6s were very responsive to Asphyxia’s performance and her q and a. The students were fascinated with the puppets, interested in the process of story writing, and asked some really intensive questions.

Although the questions ranged from professional to personal, Asphyxia was very open to all questions and the students later stated they learnt a lot from the experience, about puppeteering, authorship and the process of writing, Also, the books are now reserved up to 4 months in advance!

—N.Burke, St. Leonard's College, August 2014

A bit of internal feedback today! I was lucky enough this morning to be invited along to Westgarth Primary to see Asphyxia present to the students there. Along with the students, I was captivated as the puppet Martha (pictured right), narrator of The Grimstones books and one of the stars of Asphyxia’s puppet show, Hatched, rose from her handcrafted bed. This incredibly lifelike puppet wowed the whole audience as she rose, made her bed, and began writing in her most precious diary. Here, the session took another direction, as Paula (Asphyxia’s Auslan translator) began reading the segment aloud. This was followed by the history of the book, the puppets, and Asphyxia’s own personal journey. I, the students and the teachers were captivated by this beautiful, warm, lively and expressive performance.

—Bec Kavanagh, Booked Out, May 2012

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