pelican puppets
pelican puppets

about us

Sean Manners has been involved in puppetry, presenting workshops and performances, for over thirty years in the UK and Australia. He has also toured with Norwich Puppet Theatre, one of the UK’s premier puppet companies and worked with Welfare State International, a world-leading celebratory theatre company, building and operating large scale puppets and creating shadow puppetry.

Established in 1992, Pelican Puppets focuses on:

  • Transfer of skills to the community
  • Workshops in mosaics, flag making, and lantern creation
  • Puppet performance and building
  • Designing, building, and facilitating of parades
  • Large image construction 

We work throughout Australia in communities, festivals, schools, vacation care centres, community gardens, art galleries and libraries.

Sean has initiated and co-ordinated many community arts projects. Click on the following links to learn more about his work (or download Sean’s resume):

Welfare State International, UK


Invited to teach large scale shadow puppetry at Welfare State International's annual summer school, covering many aspects of celebration, in the UK in 2001.

Pizza Pizzaz, Deloraine and Westbury Community Gardens


Community oven-building workshops. Built over two days out of cob (clay, sand, and straw) in the Deloraine and Westbury Community Gardens, Meander Valley, Tasmania. These ovens are now being used by local communities to create amazing wood-fired pizzas.

PYPS Mosaic, Deloraine Hospital


Worked with young parents to create a mosaic for the childrens' playground within Deloraine Hospital, Tasmania. This was part of the Pregnant Young Parent Support program run by the hospital.

Molong Stories

Artist in Residence/Project Developer

A five week Artist-in-Residence community project in Molong, that collected stories from individuals and groups and turned them into twenty-six large fabric banners that were paraded through the streets during the town's Festival of the Arts.

One Van International Puppetry Festival

Construction Manager/Puppet Builder

Worked with designer Jenny Kee and participants from the Blue Mountains, NSW; Nature Band was an ensemble of large street puppets built over two months for the opening of the puppetry festival in 2005.

Cowra Breakout

Community Project Facilitator

Contracted by the 60th Anniversary Committee in Cowra to facilitate a large-scale outdoor commemoration of the Japanese prisoner of war breakout in 1944. This involved many diverse community groups in dance, song, large images and video production.

Commonwealth Fly-Fishing Championships Parade


Worked with every school in the Meander Valley to create banners for the fly-fishing teams visiting from around the world. The banners were passed on to schools in the countries that the teams represented.

Major literacy project for Linc Tasmania


The 26TEN - Journal From Now to the Future was a project funded by Linc Tasmania’s Literacy Skills Program. Community artists, Tara Ulbrich and Sean Manners, engaged six outlying communities in the Meander Valley, Tasmania in a series of workshops to create art journals. The result was a 76 page book of collages reflecting participants' ideas of their locality and what they thought of living there now and for the future.

Over a three month period people came together and talked, cut, pasted and painted. Everyone took risks to create something that would represent life here and now and what else could be imagined. The artists believe that literacy is about more than borrowing books from your library; that it concerns the daily exchange of what matters to each of us. This project used scrap-booking as a way of communicating people’s ideas and in this case raised the issue of literacy in the community in a safe and engaging way. The final book was placed in Westbury Library after being catalogued by the Tasmanian State Library.

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My philosophy is that art, creativity, and imagination is inside everyone and that it is very OK to let it out to play at any time.